March 26, 2024

NHTSA and Law Enforcement Remind Drivers: Put the Phone Away or Pay

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching a national high-visibility enforcement effort, April 1-30, 2024, to deter distracted driving. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and Law enforcement officers nationwide will work together to enforce texting and distracted-driving laws and remind drivers: Put the Phone Away or Pay. This effort comes during April, which is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

According to NHTSA, in 2021 there were 3,522 people killed and an estimated additional 362,415 people injured in traffic crashes involving distracted drivers.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office urges drivers to put their phones away when behind the wheel. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe drive:

  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. 
  • Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. 
  • Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, silence notifications, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

The Distracted Driving enforcement campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by IDOT.