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Tickets For Cell Phone Use While Driving Are On The Rise

Updated: Wednesday, May 7 2014, 11:07 AM CDT

Police in Springfield have already issued more tickets for cell phone use while driving than they did last year. They are now laying down the law, and informing drivers that the grace period is over and that cell phones need to put away when people are behind the wheel.

"That little one or two seconds they are glancing down, that can be a life altering event for them or others," said Sgt. Charles Kean from the Springfield Police Department.

That's why at the start of 2014, Illinois made it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone without a hands free device.

Even with a 30 day grace period Sangamon County Sheriff's Deputies say they have issued less than 20 tickets. But that's in sharp contrast to Springfield Police who say they have issued 163 citations. Before the law took effect in 2013, Springfield Police gave out 61 citations the entire year.

"That's just officers out there, going about those business, their daily duties. Seeing people talking on the phone and texting," said Sgt. Kean.

Officers say some drivers are still confused about the new law. Officers  want drivers to know that stopping at an intersection doesn't make it safe to use a phone.

"Unless they are putting their car in park or in neutral while sitting at a stoplight it would still be a violation," said Sgt. Kean.

Drivers we spoke with today say they have seen plenty of violations themselves, but they applaud the new law for trying to keep roads safe.

"It will. We have teenagers that constantly have to be on the phone. Texting or talking," said driver Kim Peters.

"Texting thing is a great thing because there is no way you can focus on driving and texting at the same time. That's just a danger waiting to happen," said driver Elmer Taborn.

But some drivers believe danger is still on the road. Kari holloway says drivers who looking down to dial a phone a number make the law ineffective.

"I think people are still going to do that and with the cars not all equipped with bluetooth I think it's harder for people to follow the rule," said Holloway.

Police recommend drivers who don't have a hands free device to simply place your cell phone out of sight either in your glove box or under the front passenger seat to prevent yourself from breaking the law.

Tickets For Cell Phone Use While Driving Are On The Rise

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