State Police using non-traditional vehicles in effort to detect distracting driving

State Police using non-traditional vehicles in effort to detect distracting driving

April is Distracted Driving Month, and law enforcement, insurance companies and safety advocates have a clear message for Illinois' drivers - just drive.

Sgt. Keith Keller is specifically reminding motorists that it is illegal to type, transmit or read email or text messages on a communication device while driving. O'Leary points out there are more distractions than just talking and texting, "Just drive down a 4 lane highway, when you pass a auto or a vehicle passes you just glance over and see how many people that you see have their phone down below their eye level looking at it for whatever reason or looking at their Global Positioning System or messing with their radio its not just cellphones its any kind of distracted driving". "It takes your eyes, hands or focus away from the road, putting yourself and others in harm's way".

As exciting as this time is in a young person's life, it can also be the most unsafe - vehicle crashes injure and kill more teens than anything else. These injuries and deaths are preventable.

Getting a driver's license can be one of the most exciting times in a teen's life; they've taken driver's education, passed the DMV exam and are now able to hit the open road.

The state also continues to implement penalties in an effort to reduce distracted driving.

Keller said mobile devices and in-car electronics "can now do more than ever - make calls, exchange text messages, provide navigation and entertain passengers - but this complexity takes our eyes off the road for longer". Hands-free devices and auto mounts are safer, but they still distract your eyes, hands or brain.

Sending or receiving one text message takes your eyes off the road a total of 4.6 seconds, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Turn off your smartphone, put it out of reach and/or enable Do Not Disturb features.