Distracted driving is a major problem. Road officials hope new signs along Illinois Tollways will remind drivers to not call and drive.
The Sun-Times reports that the “Safe Phone Zone” signs will designate six oases where drivers can pull off the road and safely use their cell phones. The signs are scheduled to go up in mid-April, as this month has been officially designated National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
According to the Illinois Tollway, the signs will direct drivers to the Lake Forest, O’Hare, Hinsdale and South Holland oases on the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) as well as oases on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Belvidere and one along the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in DeKalb. The zones will be inside oasis pavilions and offer seating and free Wi-Fi.
A new study by Texas A&M University shows, on average, a 7-percent reduction in crash-related hospitalizations in states that have enacted texting bans, according to the Sun-Times.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at any given daylight moment across America, 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone or electronic device while driving, and that number has held steady since 2010.
As a reminder to Illinois drivers, it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone or text while driving in the state. However, drivers 19 and older are permitted to use a hands-free device while operating a vehicle.