Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other
This month in Huntley Safety 1st we would like to address the changes in the distracted driving laws that go into effect on July 1. In the past being convicted of distracted driving was not considered a moving violation until a second offense. As of July 1 any convictions of distracted driving will be considered a moving violation.
The fines for distracted driving are now $75 for a first offense, $100 for the second offense, $125 for the third offense, and $150 for any subsequent offenses.
Illinois law states that a driver may not use a cell phone while operating a vehicle on the roadway unless it is for an emergency or the driver is using a “hands-free” device. Holding a phone while it is on speaker does not count as hands free.
Distracted driving is responsible for:
- 25% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities
- 58% of teen crashes
- 9 deaths in the United States each day
As you can see distracted driving is a problem that does not seem to be going away. These changes are not about writing more tickets. It’s all about the safety of our roadways and the public. Distracted driving is commonly referred to as the, “new drunk driving.” Just like drunk driving, distracted driving is completely preventable by driving responsibly and resisting the urge to pick up the phone while operating a motor vehicle.
In April the Huntley Police Department participated in a distracted driving campaign where officers solely focused on watching for distracted driving. This was not the first time Huntley Police have participated in such a campaign and will not be the last, so please remember to drive responsibly and just wait for a safer time to use your phone.
Huntley Safety 1st is the monthly education series written by the staff of the Huntley Police Department to provide citizens with information on public safety related issues.