Illinois Cops on Cell Phones While Driving Sets a Bad Example
Do you recall the old phrase "Do as I say, Not as I Do"? A couple friends of mine were traveling in Elgin, Illinois on Friday afternoon. One of them noticed that traveling next to him was one of Elgin's finest, cruising along in his City of Elgin squad car with his cell firmly against his face engaging in a conversion.
So my friend asks his friend in the passenger seat to snap a picture. This is the picture he sent to me (below).
You'll note that the officer is not operating under an emergency situation, as his lights are not activated.
Illinois law states that it is now illegal for drivers to talk while holding a cell phone while driving.
If you're going to talk on the phone while driving, you've got to use a hands-free device, or have it on speaker, out of your hands.
Keep in mind that according to Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2) ...(d) This Section does not apply to:
(1) a law enforcement officer or operator of an emergency vehicle while performing his or her official duties.
Apparently, this Elgin police officer doe not believe in setting a good example. How does the average citizen know it's "Official business"? The Illinois Freedom of Information act only covers cell phone logs of elected officials.
It was pointed out by several Q98.5 Facebook users that most police departments don't give officers "hands-free" technology. Using speaker phone is not hands free. The law is totally hands free, which means you would actually have to have something that is voice activated like Iphone Siri or On-Star.
This clearly sets an poor example for other drivers.
I have to applaud the Illinois truck driver who posted a youtube video last week shows an Illinois State Police trooper stopping a truck driver for unlawful use of a horn. The truck driver claims he did nothing wrong and was using his horn to alert the trooper that he was speeding while also using a cell phone. By the time the encounter ends, the trooper has issued a positive inspection report for the vehicle and, while never admitting fault, does say he wasn’t paying attention.
The conversation, all caught on video, has gone viral and had over 1 million views on YouTube.
Police need to set a good example for the citizens of our state.