Distracted driving laws change


To kickoff 2013, the Village Board of Hinsdale enacted a new policy revolving around distracted driving. Named the Distracted Driving Ordinance, the law sets the bounds of what being distracted means.

Here is what the ordinance qualifies as distracted driving in section 6-4-30:

“Manipulating items within the vehicle; reading; writing; performing personal grooming with any device, interacting physically with pets or unsecured cargo, using an electronic communications device, or engaging in any other activity which interferes with the proper operation of the vehicle equipment.”

Cited in the ordinance is a study conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in 2010, which reported that 3,000 were killed in distracted driving cases. “It’s been going up with more and more people using their phones for checking emails, texting, and things like that,” said Mr. Mark Keller, police officer for the Village of Hinsdale.

Although the policy has been in effect since the beginning of January, actual citations will not be issued until June 11, 2013. This grace period is to allow for people to become accustomed to the change.

“When you stop one person for it, [he] is going to tell a few other family members, friends, and neighbors about it. The word gets out pretty quickly,” Keller said.

Once citations are issued the fee will be processed as a parking ticket that doesn’t require court attendance. If the fee is paid within 30 days of the offense, the offender pays $75. Anything paid afterward is $100.