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Illinois police cracking down on texting behind the wheel

Distracted driving is all too common in Illinois. Despite numerous studies showing how dangerous cellphone use like texting while driving is, many drivers in Illinois continue to text behind the wheel. Roughly nine people are killed in car accidents caused by distracted driving in Illinois every day, according to the Illinois State Police. 

In an effort to crack down on distracted drivers and reduce car accidents, the Illinois State Police are increasing their efforts to catch drivers who text. Texting while driving contributes to 23 percent of all car accidents in Illinois, and law enforcement officials are hoping increased efforts to catch drivers who text will make the roads safer. 

Cracking down and issuing tickets to texting drivers has been difficult in Illinois so far. Police say that many drivers pulled over for texting say that they were doing something else with their phone, which makes it more difficult for police to cite drivers for texting. 

However, a new state law that goes into effect in January should result in more drivers getting tickets for texting while driving. Police will be able to issue a citation to drivers who have their cellphones in their hands instead of trying to prove that the driver was texting at the time. 

Law enforcement officials expect to see an increase in citations for texting while driving once the new law goes into effect. They hope that the new law will deter more drivers from texting and will ultimately see a reduction in car accidents caused by distracted driving. 

Texting while driving is very dangerous because it forces drivers to try to focus on two different cognitive tasks: reading or writing a text message and focusing on the road. It is very risky to text behind the wheel, and drivers are putting their lives and everyone else's on the road in jeopardy every time they decide to text. 

Source: WIFR, "Police Cracking Down on Texting While Driving," Marissa Sherer, Sept. 20, 2013

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