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To prevent Illinois traffic accidents, some south suburbs go “hands free”

As most of the readers of our Chicago injury lawyer blog know, texting in Illinois while driving can get you pulled over and ticketed by police in Illinois. And, Chicago drivers have known that talking and driving on the cell phone can similarly result in such penalties. Now, our south suburban readers need to know that chatting on your cell phone in Midlothian or Park Forest can get you curbed as well.

The Southtown Star has reported that officials in those villages have recently barred driving and using a cell phone without a hands-free device within their borders. Like Chicago, Midlothian and Park Forest are “hands free” communities. Its an effort centered on avoiding Illinois car accidents that officials said are more likely to happen while drivers are using their cell phones. Enforcement of the hands-free laws in Midlothian and Park Forest are just the beginning. Pulling over drivers for using cell phones is now considered a primary offense. In other words, you do not have to be committing some other traffic offense to be pulled over for using a hand-held device.

Recent statistics have shown that talking on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of all Illinois car accidents. Four out of every five accidents are attributed to distracted drivers whereas one out of every three accidents are attributed to drunk drivers. In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die every year as a result of using cell phones while driving and another 330,000 receive personal injuries. Drivers talking on cell phones were 18% slower to react to brake lights.

To read more about the south suburban texting bans, read the article at the Southtown Star.