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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, and AAA educate Illinois State Fair visitors on new distracted driving laws

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Press Release Date: August 16, 2010    || Archived October 7, 2010
Illinois State Police Acting Director Jonathon Monken, along with officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation and AAA, joined together today to remind motorists of two new laws which address distracted driving. The laws, which went into effect earlier this year, prohibit drivers from texting while driving and talking on handheld cell phones in highway construction and school zones in an effort to reduce crashes and fatalities on Illinois roadways.

“Illinois State Police officers will be diligent in their efforts to educate and enforce the new distracted driving laws,” said Acting Director Monken. “Drivers who chose to take part in this risky behavior are not only a danger to themselves, but also to those around them.”

The new laws ban motorists from sending text messages while driving in Illinois, and make it illegal to talk on a handheld cell phone while driving through a highway construction zone or school zone. In addition, it is illegal to compose, send, or read text messages and emails on a cell phone, or access the internet while driving. The ban also includes laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs), but does not include global positioning systems (GPS).

“Distracted driving is a deadly choice no one should make. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) encourages all motorists to silence their cell phones before driving, to eliminate all potential distractions in their vehicle and to always buckle up,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “IDOT commends the passage of the new distracted driving laws in hopes the legislation will positively and permanently alter the behavior of drivers who continue to participate in this dangerous activity.” The Illinois State Police, in a partnership with AAA, is utilizing driving simulators provided by the motor club at its display tent during the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs. The device allows individuals an opportunity to experience the consequences and dangers of distracted driving, while at the same time educating them about the benefits of safe driving habits.

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