Chicago cracks down on cell phone users

November 11, 2011 12:00 AM

Many states and some major cities have instituted bans on using cell phones while driving, issuing tickets to those who engage in this potentially dangerous practice. Figures obtained by the Chicago Tribune indicate that the Windy City is one such place where cell phone use is not being tolerated, as fines and tickets have increased dramatically over a five-year period.

The news source reports that police in Chicago issued 23,292 tickets for the violation in 2010, which brought in $2.2 million in revenue for the city. That figure represents a 73 percent increase from 2006, which was the first year that the cell phone ban went into effect. In addition, fines during that time have risen from a maximum of $50 to $500 in just five years.

While cell phone use is a dangerous practice, some city residents say that the government is looking at the tickets as a revenue source rather than a deterrent. The only cell phone use that is allowed is through hands-free devices. One resident told the news source that he was given a ticket despite having his cell phone on speaker.

Avoiding distractions while on the road is one way to cut down on accidents, but human behavior only goes so far. Regular auto maintenance for things like brake service can help ensure that accidents are avoided due to mechanical issues.

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