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IDOT and ISP remind drivers to "Drop It and Drive"

A driver holding a phone while driving.
Omar Al-Ghosson

The Illinois Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Illinois State Police and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies to promote Distracted Driving Awareness Month, reminding drivers to “Drop it and Drive.” Throughout April, law enforcement officers will work together to enforce texting and distracted-driving laws.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 32,000 people died in distraction-affected crashes from 2011 to 2020. In 2020, there were 3,142 deaths linked to driver distraction, or 8% of all traffic fatalities. Illinois law prohibits the use of hand-held electronic communication devices while driving unless using hands-free mode.

To keep your attention on the road, remember these tips:

  • Pull over and park your car in a safe location if you are expecting a text or need to send one
  • Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.”
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature.

Officials remind drivers that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous and getting caught can be expensive. Save your money and maybe even a life – wait until you reach your destination to text or call. Remember: “Drop it and Drive.”

Leah Lerner is a media writer, producer, and announcer at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org.
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