If you text and drive this week in Illinois, expect a ticket.
Police departments across the state are cracking down on distracted driving, and they’re busting people who pick up the phone. Close 3,500 people are killed across the country each year because of distracted driving, with those crashes making up nearly 10 percent of traffic deaths.
This year, the Illinois Chief’s Association and AAA teamed up for the state’s first distracted driving week. Officers in Bartonville say drivers normally take their eyes off the road for 27 seconds at a time to read a text or respond to emails. More distractions come when you’re talking on the phone.
AAA says close to 80 percent of drivers think it’s dangerous to text and drive, yet most of them have admitted to doing it at some point.
The Illinois Chief’s Association says this campaign is about awareness.
“A lot of people do think that though, they think they’re pulling up to a stop light, they can use their electronic device, and it’s okay, but it’s not okay,” said Bartonville Police Chief and President of the Illinois Chief’s Association, Brian Fengel.
Police say right now they’re only focused on electronic devices. Things like eating, doing your hair or reading a book are distracting but are not against the law.