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Local police to crack down on distracted driving

Wonder Lake, Lake in the Hills, Huntley police among those participating

Local police departments are pairing with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State police to crack down on distracted driving during April.

Huntley, Wonder Lake and Lake in the Hills police are among the McHenry County departments participating, according to news releases. Police are warning drivers that if they drive while using a phone, they will be ticketed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association said 3,166 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 mph for the length of a football field, according to the releases.

Police recommend drivers follow these tips:

• If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.

• Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.

• Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cellphone use can be habit-forming.

• Put your cellphone in the trunk, glove box or back seat until you arrive at your destination.

The distracted driving enforcement campaign is supported through federal funds administered by IDOT, according to the releases.

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