April 21, 2017 - Oak Park police officers will be on the lookout for drivers distracted by cell phones as part of the first-ever Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week from April 24-28.
State law prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Blue Tooth technology is allowed for persons 19 or older.
Members of Oak Park’s community policing unit will be doing targeted enforcement missions at various locations throughout the Village in the coming days and specifically focusing on motorists driving while on their cellphones.
“Taking your eyes off the road even for an instant to read a text message is dangerous not only to you, but to everyone around you,” Oak Park Police Chief Anthony Ambrose said. “No text message or phone call is worth risking your life or the lives of others.”
The Oak Park Police Department is joining the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, AAA, the Illinois State Police, the National Safety Council, the Illinois Insurance Association and almost 300 law enforcement/fire agencies in working to educate motorists on all aspects of distracted driving during Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured nationwide in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. Those totals represent a nine percent increase in fatalities compared to the previous year.
SafetyServe.com is offering a short Distracted Driving Online Course at no cost during Distracted Driving Awareness week at www.iddaw.org.
Information about distracted driving laws in Illinois is available on the Secretary of State website.