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From April 22 to April 28, 2017, the Buffalo Grove Police Department will be out in force looking for distracted drivers as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, a high-visibility effort to enforce distracted-driving laws.
“Everyone knows texting and driving is illegal and dangerous, and everyone knows they should not be doing it—but we see it happen all the time,” said Sergeant Michelle Kondrat of the traffic unit in Buffalo Grove. “Beginning April 22, motorists will see stepped-up law enforcement efforts. Officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is caught texting and driving. If you text and drive, you will pay.”
Too many drivers are ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel, and distracted driving is a growing and deadly threat on roadways. Buffalo Grove is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and other state and local municipalities to make sure all motorists keep their eyes on the road, and their hands on the wheel.
Violating distracted driving laws in the state of Illinois can be costly. Individuals who receive a citation pay between $50 and $120, excluding courts costs. Illinois law states a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device. The term, “electronic communication device” includes, but is not limited to, a handheld wireless telephone, a handheld personal digital assistant or a portable mobile computer.
According to NHTSA, 3,477 people were killed, and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. This is a 9-percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year.
An analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety relating to 2009-2012 data found that while more than 80-percent of drivers believed it was completely unacceptable for a motorist to text behind the wheel, more than one-third of those same drivers admitted to reading text messages while operating a passenger motor vehicle.
“Do the right thing—put your phone away when you get behind the wheel. Save yourself the embarrassment and expense of getting pulled over—and more importantly, you may save someone’s life,” said Sergeant Kondrat.
The Buffalo Grove Police Department and NHTSA remind you if you need to text, pull over and out of traffic, and park your vehicle.
Remind your family and friends to always avoid texting and driving:? Texting and driving is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you are a danger to everyone around you.? No one likes to be criticized by a friend for doing something wrong, but it’s even worse to get caught by law enforcement and be required to pay a fine.? Don’t follow the pack, be a leader. When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away.? Speak up. If your friends are texting while driving, tell them to stop. Listen to your passengers; if they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.
Texting while driving is dangerous and getting caught can be expensive and embarrassing. Save face, your money, and maybe even save a life—your text message can wait. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.