--Being an 'occasional offender' (like me) is no excuse.
We need to pay more attention to driving and less to our devices and we need to teach our kids to do it better than us.--
Story at Pioneer Press
By KAREN BERKOWITZ
March 27, 2013
HIGHLAND PARK — On April 1, Highland Park police will step up an enhanced enforcement zone targeting drivers violating the city’s ban on hand-held cell phone use.
The focused campaign to enforce distracted driving restrictions and educate drivers has been planned by Highland Park police in cooperation with four nearby jurisdictions with similar ordinances.
Police departments in Highland Park, Deerfield, Lake Forest, Waukegan and Winnetka are joining forces to enforce their own bans as well as a state law that prohibits use of hand-held cell phones in school speed zones and construction zones.
State law also prohibits text-messaging while driving and all cell phone use by motorists 18 years of age and younger.
The municipal ordinances restricting cell phone usage include exemptions for reporting police, fire and medical emergencies.
According to police, the use of a hand-held cell phone while driving greatly compromises public safety and increases the risk of a traffic crash.
Legislation is currently pending in the Illinois General Assembly that would ban use of hand-held cell phones while driving on a statewide basis, with certain exceptions. Ten states outside of Illinois currently restrict the use of handheld cell phones.
The Highland Park Police Department is encouraging its residents to contact their state legislators to communicate their interest in a statewide ban.
Highland Park police are planning similar enforcement initiatives to align with the end of the school year in June and before the start of the new school year in August.