The Illinois Distracted Driving Law That I Unknowingly Violated
As of today, I'm three days in to being an official RPS 205 grade school student parent, and I already got in trouble at school on day 2...by a cop...in the parking lot.
Before I tell my story, please let me state that I usually pride myself on reading all the info sent home from the school completely. I follow the rules. I try not to forget important information. If the beginning of the year newsletter stated this part of the school pick up rules, I completely missed it. Apparently, I completely missed this part in the new distracted driving laws in Illinois too.
Yesterday I got yelled at by a cop in my daughter's school parking lot for being on my phone while behind the wheel of my car...even though it was parked and turned off. I was NOT parked in an actual parking spot though, just in the line, and I believe that is where the difference comes in.
To be fair, the cop didn't "yell" at me, he just let me know that I can't do it because school property is still a public roadway, and he warned me that they will have to begin cracking down on it soon.
Of course I had to look this up, (once I got home and out of my car), and I found this article from the Chicago Tribune where the Naperville Police Department said this about using a phone behind the wheel in a school zone:
Naperville police reiterated in the release that it continues to be illegal to text or talk while holding a device at a stop sign, at a red light or while sitting in traffic when a vehicle is not in neutral or park.
“It is also illegal for anyone to use a cellphone — even hands-free — in a school zone, within a construction zone, within 500 feet of an emergency scene or if you are under 18 years old,” the department said.
For the record, I never doubted the validity of what the cop said to me yesterday, I just had to look up what the law states so I could figure out what I could get away with while waiting in the pick up line for a half hour each day.
Got any suggestions for me short of taking a nap?!? LOL!