Westchester urges end to texting and driving
Updated: November 19, 2012 1:34AM
WESTCHESTER — The village is cracking down on texting while driving.
Village President Sam Pulia issued a proclamation setting aside Sept. 19 to be No Text On Board-Pledge Day to encourage all drivers never to text and drive again.
Pulia’s proclamation noted texting takes one’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. He also referenced an AT&T survey references that 43 percent of American teenage drivers admitted to texting while driving even though 97 percent know it is dangerous.
“I personally know people who have been seriously injured in car accidents by drivers who they suspected were texting,” Westchester resident Steve Battersby said. “I’ve been cut off numerous times by people that were texting and after they cut me off, I went around them to see them on their keypads.”
Battersby believes the police should be more proactive in the situation and said he would like to see more enforcement.
Police Chief April Padalik said the village needs more advertisement. She believes parents should get involved as well as the community neighborhood watch officer.
“We need parents to put controls on these young kids; they’re the ones that usually pay the cell phone bills. They can check those records and see how much texting is going on and on some bills you can see the dates and times that texting is going on,” Padalik said.
She said it would be a good idea to go to neighborhood high schools to spread the message.
“I think that’s something that we’re going to put out there and if the schools want us to come in and do it, I’d be more than happy to,” Padalik said.
According to www.drivinglaws.org/ill.php, Illinois’ cell phone and texting laws are primary laws, meaning a police officer can pull a motorist over for the offense without having to witness another violation.
“Recently I saw a public service announcement on TV of a man in his late teens, early 20s and he’s talking very slowly and it shows like a rehab environment,” Padalik said. “It shows a text that was never completed and now he’s suffered brain damage and he’s trying to tell everyone that this is what happened to me.” ~.