The Wheaton Police Department will be ticketing drivers who text or use their cellphones while driving during a Fall Distracted Driving Campaign. Motorists will see increased patrols and enforcement zones citywide throughout the month of November.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
Illinois law prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology is allowed for people age 19 and older.
"On any given day, you can look out your car window and see another driver using their cellphone,” said Lieutenant Van Dillenkoffer of the Wheaton Police Department. “Everyone knows texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts themselves and others at risk. 2020 has been a hard year for all of us, so let us do our best to travel safely this Thanksgiving season.”
Follow these steps for a safe driving experience:
- If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cellphone use can be habit-forming.