OPPD Participate in IACP Distracted Driving WEEK

Orland Park Police Participate in IACP Distracted Driving WEEK
Posted on 04/22/2019

Orland Park Police Participate in

Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Distracted Driving Week

 

ORLAND PARK, IL – (April 22, 2019) –April has been declared Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Orland Park and across the country.

 

The Orland Park Police Department has partnered with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and more than 100 Illinois law enforcement agencies to remind drivers to not drive distracted. During the month of April, the OPPD has increased patrols and implemented a public education campaign reminding motorists to not drive distracted.  

 

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, AAA, and the Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association have partnered with law enforcement, educators, and community organizations to bring additional awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

 

“Distracted driving is a dangerous issue facing all communities,” said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau. “The Orland Park Police Department has been working very hard to combat this problem with increased patrols and its public education campaigns.”

 

The chiefs of police has designated April 22 to 26 as Illinois Distracted Driving Week. The Orland Park Police Department is among the agencies observing this week within the designated awareness month. 

 

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80% of drivers believe texting while driving poses a significant danger yet 35% report doing so regularly.

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 people die each day in distracted driving crashes, contributing to the 37,000 people killed in crashes on U.S. roadways in 2016.

 

“Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes,” said Orland Park Village Trustee Pat Gira, chair of the village’s Public Safety Committee. “No message or phone call is worth jeopardizing your safety. Please pull over and park if you need to use your phone.”

 

Increased patrols and enforcement zones in Orland Park have resulted in motorists being ticketed for texting or using their cell phones while driving.

 

“People know that it’s wrong and they know that it’s dangerous,” said Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy. “Ours was one of the top agencies in Illinois to write distracted driving tickets in 2018. Our officers will do what it takes to save lives and enhance traffic safety in Orland Park.”

 

The nationwide public awareness campaign has brought increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois. Orland Park police have been ticketing drivers who text or use their cellphones while driving.

 

“Distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phone use,” said Sergeant Jason Ford who heads the police department’s traffic safety unit. “We see people eating, talking, using their navigation systems, putting on make-up, driving with dogs on their laps and more.”

A number of organizations offer tips to help drivers avoid distracted driving including paying attention.

 

  1. Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, texting or playing games while driving.
  2. Put the phone away while driving – in the glove box or in the trunk.
  3. Pull over and park in a safe location if a call or text is absolutely necessary.
  4. Change your voicemail greeting to tell callers you’re on the road and will return their calls when you’re not driving.
  5. Turn on phone’s do not disturb or airplane mode when driving.
  6. Discourage people from calling or texting your while you’re driving.
  7. Have passengers manage your phone for you.
  8. Prepare before you drive, review maps and make any phone calls before you drive.
  9. Request phone free driving when a passenger.
  10. Model safe driving behavior – especially for future drivers.

 

“Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” Ford added. “It’s that simple.”

 

The Distracted Driving Campaign is supported through federal funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

 

“No distraction --- texting, talking, eating or not paying attention --- is ever worth the loss of life on the road,” McCarthy said. “People need to focus on driving when they’re behind the wheel --- nothing else.”

 

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PHOTO CAPTION
Along with observing National Distracted Driving Month in April, the Orland Park Police Department is participating in the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police week long designation of Distracted Driving Awareness Week, April 22 to 26.