The Geneva Police Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police, and more than 100 local law enforcement agencies to remind motorists to stay off their phones while driving.
Motorists will see increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois in the month of April as part of the national Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign. Geneva Police will be ticketing drivers who text or use their cellphones while driving.
Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes during the past decade. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, more than 3,100 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. This represents a 9 percent decrease in distracted driving fatalities from 2016, but there is clearly more work to be done.
Texting while driving distracts a driver visually, manually and cognitively. A driver’s eyes are off the roadway in front of them for an average of 4.6 seconds while sending or receiving a text message. This is equivalent to driving blind at 55 mph for the length of a football field.
The Geneva Police Department recommends these steps for a safe driving experience:
• People expecting a text message or needing to send one should pull over and park in a safe location.
• Drivers can designate a passenger in the vehicle as the designated “texter” or caller.
• Motorists should not engage in any social media scrolling or posting while driving. Cellphone use can be habit-forming and it is not more important than paying attention to the roadway.
• To avoid distractions, drivers can put their phone in the trunk, glove box or on the back seat until they arrive at their destination.
The distracted driving enforcement campaign is supported through federal funds administered by IDOT. For more information, contact Geneva Police Commander Brian Maduzia at 630-232-4736 or via email.