Police Program: Cradle Your Distraction

Police Program: Cradle Your Distraction
Posted on 10/16/2017

In cooperation with the Napleton Auto Group, the Arlington Heights Police Department will be kicking off a new program from October 27 - November 1 to address distracted driving.  The “Cradle Your Distraction” program is designed to modify driver behavior through education and promote the hands-free use of electronic devices while driving.  The program will debut as part of the Traffic Bureau’s Halloween Traffic Safety Campaign. 

During the campaign, traffic officers observing violations of distracted driving statutes will stop the vehicle and educate the driver on the increased perils of operating a vehicle while distracted by use of electronic devices such a cellular telephones. During specific hours of the campaign, drivers may be given a phone cradle instead of a moving violation. The cradles for cell phones can be temporarily installed on their vehicle’s dashboard, allowing hands-free use while driving.  

The Arlington Heights Police Department is committed to reducing the number of accidents associated with distracted driving and making the streets safer through not only enforcement efforts, but also through such educational initiatives. Over the past 2 years the Arlington Heights Police Department has issued 3,102 citations for electronic communication device (cell phone) violations.

In 2014, 3,179 people nationwide were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.  The following statistics are likewise startling:  27% of adults admit to texting while driving; 24% of fatal accidents with one or more drivers aged 30 to 39 involved cell phone use; 22% of fatal accidents with one or more drivers under the age of 20 involved cell phone use as well.

Unfortunately, the problem is not necessarily getting better.  The percentage of driver’s text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices, at any time, increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2015.

The Law in Illinois: 

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers* (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for drivers of all ages (Primary law) 
  • Illinois bans the use of cell phones while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone

  • Handheld ban for drivers of all ages (Primary law)  

*Note: Illinois defines novice drivers as drivers of all ages under the age of 19.