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Commercial Drivers & Cell Phones

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Commercial Drivers & Cell Phones

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 12, 2008

Have you ever been sitting at Route 47 and Lake Avenue or at Route 47 and Irving and watched the driver of a tractor-trailer or other large truck make a left turn in front of you while talking on a handheld cell phone? And then take his hand off the steering wheel to shift gears? Kind of scary, eh?

New Jersey recently passed a state-wide law prohibited the use of handheld cell phones by drivers. It would forever and a day before Illlinois would follow suit, but maybe we could interest our legislators in addressing the use of cell phones by drivers of commercial trucks while their vehicles are in motion.

The driver of a northbound gravel truck on Route 31 crossed the centerline and ran into a southbound pick-up truck, injuring both drivers and creating a traffic jam.

What is it that caused a driver to cross the centerline? Inattention? Coffee? Cell phone usage? Probably not map-reading by a local driver.

Almost every day I see a driver holding a cell phone and committing traffic violations from driving across the centerline, onto the shoulder, tailgating, entering an intersection without stopping at the stop sign or at the stop bar while the light is red, turning right or left in front of oncoming traffic.

Tangling with another car is bad enough. Doing battle with a gravel truck or tractor-trailer? They win; you lose.

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