PSA: Distracted Driving in Plainfield
Just passing it along bc I had no idea about it......
October 14, 2010
PLAINFIELD — This week, distracted driving in Plainfield officially becomes illegal.
Village board members earlier this month approved an ordinance addressing negligent or distracted driving. The law, which takes effect this week, allows police to ticket drivers who were stopped for a moving violation, such as improper lane use, for negligent driving in addition to the moving violation.
Tickets would only be issued if the officer determines the driver had been distracted while driving by things such as a cell phone, eating, reading or putting on makeup.
The ticket would be a local ordinance violation and not go on the driver’s record.
Police Chief Bill Doster said the department will observe a 30-day grace period in enforcing the law.
“It’s not going to be something we enforce a lot because you’ve got to have the erratic driving first,” he said. “I don’t foresee a lot of tickets being written on that. It’s really more of a public relations gimmick, what we’re saying is we want people to be aware that distracted driving is a very dangerous thing.”
Police want to use the law to reach teenage drivers in particular, Doster said, and plan to hand out pamphlets at local high schools.
In Illinois, it is illegal to send text messages while driving or to use a cell phone while driving in a construction or school zone. Drivers under 19 cannot use a cell phone while driving except to call police or for medical assistance
Plainfield traffic Sgt. Eric Munson said the department likely would not subpoena cell phone records unless phone use was suspected as a cause of a serious or fatal crash.
“(Texting while driving) is very hard to enforce, because are (drivers) texting or are they dialing the phone? Typically when we do enforcement on foot and we say, ‘Are you texting?’ people will typically respond right away, ‘No I’m dialing a cell phone number.’”