Evanston police issue over 400 citations during state Distracted Driving Enforcement campaign



Distracted driving, according to the NHTSA, can include texting, eating and drinking while driving. In April, EPD gave out 441 driving citations as part of Illinois’ Distracted Driving Enforcement campaign.

Emma Edmund, Assistant City Editor

The Evanston Police Department issued 441 driving citations during April as part of Illinois’ Distracted Driving Enforcement campaign, according to a news release.

The campaign, which is supported via federal funds from the Illinois Department of Transportation, aims to bring awareness to residents about distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving on its website as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” Activities can include texting while driving, eating and adjusting the navigation system, according to the website.

According to the NHTSA website, texting is the most alarming distraction. Since sending or reading a text can take up to five seconds, according to NHTSA, people driving at 55 miles per hour can drive the length of an entire football field without watching the road.

Increased enforcement was part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, per the release. Included in the 441 citations were 356 electronic communication device citations and 34 uninsured motorists citations.

“Driver distraction is a persistent issue in Evanston, and it is a danger to the community,” Traffic Sgt. Tracy Williams said in the release. “Issuing a citation is a proven way to get motorists to reduce distracted driving.”

In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed nationwide as a result of distracted driving, according to a report from NHTSA. The report also said that six percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2017 were distracted at the time of the crash. Those aged 15 to 19 make up the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of a crash, reaching eight percent in 2017.

EPD will “continue stopping drivers for this dangerous behavior,” Williams said, even though Distracted Driving Awareness Month is over.

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Twitter: @emmaeedmund

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