Fatalities on Illinois roads rose 5 percent last year.  The preliminary total for 2013 is 1,002, the first time in five years the death count was over 1,000 on Illinois roads. This is because vehicle miles driven are on the rise as the economy recovers and the current price of gas is no longer considered high, according to the IDOT Division of Traffic Safety.  Illinois transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says these deaths do not all happen on the interstates and numbered highways, and they’re not all car crashes.
 
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“We have seen fatalities from crashes on city streets rise, along with increases in crashes involving motorcycles, pedestrian, pedacyclists (bicyclists) and large trucks. That does not mean that the large trucks, the motorcyclists or the pedestrians were at fault. It means they were involved,” she said.  Schneider says the cops will be enforcing the law, new this year, against playing with your phone while driving.  She says a survey taken in November, before the law took effect, showed one on eight drivers were playing with their phones while driving, and that number is higher in Northeastern Illinois (one in five), and that women do so 20 to 50 percent more than men.
 
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