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Near Miss in Crystal Lake

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Near Miss in Crystal Lake

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 29, 2008

This morning I was almost hit head-on by a driver in a black Jeep Cherokee-type vehicle on U.S. 14 east of MCC. Traffic was heavy, and the driver was the first car in a string of westbound vehicles.

I noticed the left front of his car nearing the center of the road and looked at the driver. He had both hands above the steering wheel and was holding some type of communicator - a large GPS or PDA, and it looked like he was going at it with his thumbs.

He was doing a lousy job of steering with his wrists, and I headed for the shoulder. I flashed my headlights at him and sounded the horn, too.

I thought about turning around to follow him and siccing the Crystal Lake Police, McHenry County Sheriff or Woodstock Police on him. I know how to do that.

I ask the police to enforce RIGIDLY all traffic violations that occur when a driver is distracted, whether by cell phone, text messaging, PDA, GameBoys, PDAs, TVs, DVDs, newspapers, books, office reports - you name it. Don't wait for head-on accidents or rear-enders to give this serious problem your attention.

And I ask the judges to protect us citizens from these distracted drivers. Sock them with big fines, which will also mean large court costs, NO Supervision, and let them build up the points on their licenses. Order traffic school for them, and prohibit the online traffic school. Make them go and sit in a stuffy, dirty classroom for four or eight hours. And make them come back to court and report whether they have learned their lesson.

When the word gets around that McHenry County means business regarding safe driving, we'll all be a lot safer.

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