Study after study – as well as national statistics – should have convinced all of us how deadly texting and driving is. Yet, the number of distracted driving crashes continue to increase and people continue to die.
The majority of states have put in place some form of legislation that addresses cell phone use while driving. Here in Illinois, the law prohibits the use of cell phones, texting, or using any other form of electronic communication.
Distracted Driving Violations
Drivers should use either hands-free devices or Blue Tooth tech if 19 years of age or older. Considered a “primary” law, law enforcement can pull a person over if they suspect the of driver’s violation.
Other states have made their laws secondary laws, which means police have to pull a driver over for another reason – such as speeding or running a stop sign – in order to cite them for cell phone use. First time fines start at $75, and following violations will result in fines of $100, $125, and $150.
But there is a statistic that has emerged from the city of Chicago and that is the number of violations that are being handed out for illegal cell phone use. In 2014, Chicago Police handed out 45,594 citations for cell phone use while driving. In 2016, that number plummeted to 186. And from January to mid-April, officers only issued 24 violations.
Although some people point to the increased usage of Blue Tooth and hands-free technology as the possible explanation for the drop, critics disagree and point to a change in the law as the cause.
Critics point the law that requires police to attend all traffic hearings. While it can look like laziness on the outside, police officers serve the public. They may not have time to attend every hearing.
How the city will address this issue remains to be seen, but it must be addressed. Now that the city has announced its Vision Zero initiative with the goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities by 20% and serious injuries by 35% by 2020.
The final goal of Chicago’s Vision Zero is to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2026.
Contact us if you have received one of the cities distracted driving violations. Don’t hesitate. We look forward to hearing from you. We offer free consults and no fee unless we win.
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