April marks the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The U.S Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are sponsoring the 2016 National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign. The Illinois State Police (ISP) will be joining those efforts to crackdown on motorist who fail to abide by the texting while driving law and other distracted driving violations.
The ISP will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crackdown on motorists who text while driving. The national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” high-visibility enforcement campaign has two goals: conduct intense enforcement of anti-texting laws; and couple these efforts with advertising, media and social media outreach to inform drivers about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.
“Driving and texting is not only dangerous and irresponsible—it’s illegal,” said ISP Colonel Tad Williams. “Drivers who break our state’s texting law will be stopped and fined. Texting and driving is a safety issue, and we’re trying to work toward a resolution by identifying violators. If you drive and text, you will pay,” Williams added.
Violating Illinois’ texting law, which became effective on January 1, 2014, can be costly. A first violation for this offense is $120 and can increase with multiple violations or if a violation occurs in a work zone or school zone.
Distracted driving statistics paint a grim picture: In 2014, an estimated 3,179 people were killed. An additional 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. It is clear that distracted driving continues to be a deadly driving hazard.