Springfield— Illinois State Police (ISP) Troopers across the state participated in the first ever “distracted driving awareness week.” During this enforcement campaign Troopers gave special attention to distracted driving, while still enforcing other violations of the Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC). The initiative was sponsored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP), in partnership with AAA, and supported by the Illinois State Police, SafetyServe.com, the National Safety Council, the Illinois Insurance Association, and nearly 300 other law enforcement and fire agencies throughout Illinois. A press conference was held at the Illinois State Capitol on April 24, 2017 to kick off the campaign.
During the enforcement period from April 24-28, ISP Troopers issued 1,146 distracted driving citations and 984 distracted driving warnings. Troopers also issued 3,276 citations for other violations of the IVC and 3,182 written warnings. In addition to the enforcement campaign, the ISP also undertook a large education effort to inform motorists of distracted driving laws. Safety Education Officers (SEOs) throughout the state spent over 160 hours educating the public and motorists on the current laws, penalties, and rules of the road.
“I am extremely proud of the enforcement efforts by the ISP. Our officers proudly represented the ISP in this statewide campaign,” said ISP Colonel Tad Williams. “Additionally, our SEO’s did a great job educating the motoring public through a number of press conferences, media releases, and multitude of social media contacts,” Williams added.
The use of wireless telephones for all drivers, regardless of age, while operating a vehicle in a school zone or construction zone is prohibited. Also, the use of electronic communication devices or any other electronic device, to text, e-mail, compose, read or send electronic messages or access internet sites while driving a motor vehicle is prohibited. Violating Illinois’ texting law can be costly. A first violation for this offense is $120 and can increase with multiple violations or when a violation occurs in a work or school zone.
Texting and driving is a “Choice” that requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving. The ISP asks all motorists to “Drop it and Drive” and focus on the task at hand.