Kane County Police On The Look Out For Distracted Drivers

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Police departments in Kane County plan a day-long blitz targeting distracted drivers next week.

Officials said it seems the only thing that gets people’s attention on the dangers of distracted driving is to start ticketing drivers. 

On Friday, April 26th, police throughout in Kane County will be doing just that.

Chief Dean Stiegemeier of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police said, "Don’t be the guy, when I’m looking in my rear-view mirror who’s looking in his lap, only occasionally looks up and you’re still sitting there five seconds after the light turns green."

Nick Jarmusz of AAA said 90 percent of people surveyed believe distracted driving is a serious threat to public safety yet, "unfortunately, many of those who acknowledge the risk and support laws against phone use behind the wheel, still admit to doing it on a regular basis."

Charlene Sligting-Yorke knows the pain a distracted driver can cause. Her father John was on his motorcycle 12 years ago when he was hit by car driven by a teen arguing on the phone with her mom.

"He finally stopped when his body slammed into her car, his head hitting the side of it. He flew over the car and skidded across the asphalt," she said.

Illinois State Senator Cristina Castro said distracted driving is not just being on your phone. It’s eating, talking to others in the car, and more.

"There was a young lady who was behind me putting make-up in the car on a two-lane road. She lost control of her car and I watched her go into a ditch," she said.

"The mental distraction caused by even a momentary glimpse at your phone or voice command to dial, change music or send a text message, can impair your response time behind the wheel for as long as 27 seconds afterwards," he said.

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain suggests that, if you're going to use your cellphone or drive distracted, you should "pause just for a brief moment and picture that child, picture that motorcyclist, picture what you will do to end a life should you choose to text and drive."

Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins of the Kane County Chiefs Association said, "driving distracted is an intentional choice. Let’s decrease the number of accident victims by intentionally focusing on the road."