2017 is the inaugural year for the new Illinois Distracted Driver Awareness Week campaign, which will take place the week of April 24-28th.
The Elmhurst Police Department will be partnering with hundreds of other police agencies throughout the State of Illinois to curb this dangerous activity—distracted driving. Recent studies have shown that distracted driving is becoming more problematic and that distracted drivers are often just as dangerous as drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol. Nationwide, in the most recent year of analysis (2015), there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials—drivers between the ages of 16-24. Young drivers have been observed in much greater numbers using handheld devices while driving compared with older, more experienced drivers.
During the campaign week, extra officers will be on patrol in Elmhurst looking for drivers who are violating the laws regarding talking on cell phones or texting while driving. Motorists are reminded to use a hands-free device only or to pull over to a safe location when using a cell phone.