Metro-east troopers will pay special attention to those driving distracted next week during the first statewide awareness campaign.
Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye, Jr said Illinois distracted driving laws have been the books for seven years. He wants people to know this is not about giving tickets, but avoiding injury and possible death.
As a reminder, he sent out a release reminding Illinois drivers of the laws — including absolutely no phone use in a school zone or construction zone is and no text communication while driving anywhere.
The first violation will cost a person $120, and the cost increases with the number of violations.
Driving distracted is a factor in more than one million crashes every year, Dye’s release stated, causing a financial burden of about $40 million a year.
“If you’re driving your vehicle, you are already multitasking,” he wrote. “At a minimum you are operating a vehicle at roadway speed, and you are calculating the distances and the navigation of all other drivers and obstacles around you.”
An estimated 3,477 people were killed and another 391,000 injured in distracted driving accidents during 2015.
“Texting and driving is a ‘Choice’ that requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving,” Dye wrote in the release. “The ISP asks all motorists to ‘Drop it and Drive’ and focus on the task at hand.”