Police crackdown on texting while driving
NILES, IL – With local and state laws against texting and driving not heavily enforced, the police in north suburban Niles are pulling over people suspected of texting and driving.
"While I’m driving I’m looking at everybody right now," said Officer Fotis Markadas. He was on the road less than 10 seconds before he spotted the first violation for texting and driving. The driver was issued a $100 ticket.
The Niles police said they had noticed an increase in the number of drivers who were distracted by cell phones behind the wheel, so they decided to devote one day a week to crack the whip.. Not only is using a cell phone while driving against state law, but also a village ordinance.
According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving causes about 1.6 million crashes a year and those crashes cause about 330,000 injuries. In fact, they say one in every four accidents is caused by texting.
The population of Niles is about 30,000, but about 75,000 drivers a day go through the town on Milwaukee Avenue. Officer Markadas said it’s easy to find drivers who are breaking the cell phone laws.
A study found that 94 percent of drivers believe texting behind the wheel is dangerous, but 35 percent admit to doing it anyway.