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Police, dealer group equip distracted drivers with hands-free holders

November 3, 2017
Arlington Heights police in late October spared drivers in breach of Illinois’s distracted driving law from being charged with a moving violation. Instead, as part of the department’s "Cradle Your Distraction" program, the drivers were given hands-free phone holders.
The Napleton Auto Group donated 2,000 of the holders to support the program. The devices include a plastic base that adheres to the back of a standard-sized cellphone, plus a magnet and rubber attachment that can be clipped onto the dashboard heating vents of most vehicles, allowing drivers to talk hands-free.
During the past two years, Arlington Heights police have issued 3,102 citations to drivers young and old for cellphone violations. Nationwide, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in car crashes that involved distracted drivers in 2014.
 
"Our officers do a great job with enforcement," said Arlington Heights Police Cmdr. Rick Boyle, "but we need to change drivers’ behavior because using cellphones behind the wheel causes accidents."
The department’s "Cradle Your Distraction" program coincided with a Halloween traffic safety campaign. Drivers in the northwest suburban village caught texting or holding a phone while behind the wheel will be treated similarly during the upcoming holiday season, Boyle said.
"We want to make people understand that many of these accidents would never have happened if not for distracted driving involving mobile phones," he said. "We’re hoping people get out the word about the program. It’s all about raising awareness."
 
 

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