NORTH AURORA – North Aurora police are participating in a national distracted driving awareness month campaign, and partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 100 other law enforcement agencies, officials announced in a news release.
Motorists will see increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois in April as part of the national Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign.
North Aurora officers will be ticketing drivers who text or use their cell phones while driving, the release stated.
Every day, you can look out your car window and see a driver using their cellphone, Chief David Fisher stated in the release.
“People know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts others at risk,” Fisher stated in the release.
Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes during the past decade.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, more than 3,100 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017.
This represents a 9 percent decrease in distracted driving fatalities from 2016, but there is clearly more work to be done, the release stated.
Texting while driving distracts a driver visually, manually and cognitively. A driver’s eyes are off the roadway in front of them for an average of 4.6 seconds while sending or receiving a text message. This is equivalent to driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the length of a football field.
The North Aurora Police Department recommends these steps for a safe driving experience:
• People who are expecting a text message or who need to send one, should pull over and park in a safe location.
• Drivers can choose a passenger in the vehicle as the designated “texter” or caller.
• Motorists should not engage in any social media scrolling or posting while driving.
• Cell phone use can be habit-forming and it is not more important than paying attention to the roadway.
• To avoid distractions, drivers can put their phone in the trunk, glove box or on the back seat until they arrive at their destination.
The distracted driving enforcement campaign is supported through federal funds administered by IDOT.