COLLINSVILLE – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 11 Commander, Captain Mark Doiron, announces the ISP will conduct Distracted Driving Enforcement Program patrols in St. Clair and/or Madison County during the month of March.

This program allows ISP to focus on distracted driving laws to prevent traffic deaths and serious injury crashes. Distractions can increase a driver’s risk of being in an accident:

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• Eating or drinking (non-alcoholic beverages) increases the risk by three times.

• Sending a text message increases the risk by four times.

• Reaching for an object increases the risk by eight times.

• Reading a text message can take a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of fiveseconds.Officers will be on the look out for drivers who disobey Illinois’ distracted driving laws, especially the following:

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• All drivers are prohibited from reading, sending, or receiving text messages or communication,and from browsing the internet.

• All drivers are prohibited from using handheld electronic communication devices.

• Drivers under the age of 19 are prohibited from using any cellphone, even hands-free.

• All drivers are prohibited from using any cellphone, even hands-free, while in school speed zones and workzones.

• School bus drivers are not permitted to use any type of cellphone, even hands-free.

• It is illegal to use a cellphone or take photos or videos on wireless devices when driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene. This distracted driving enforcement campaign is made possible by traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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