Let's be careful out there.

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

It's been against the law to use a hand-held cell phone in your car for a couple of years now.  Evanston, Illinois, the city I live in, was one of the early adopters of that type of law, figuring it's way too distracting, resulting in too many accidents and fatalities.

Evanston's always been a progressive city.  We were the second city in the country (behind Grand Rapids, Michigan) to adopt fluoridated water.  So it's no surprise that we were among the first to adopt a safety-related law restricting the use of cell-phones in cars.

A colleague of mine was stopped the other evening, driving down Central Street, and was given a cell-phone ticket.  He was surprised.

"But officer", he complained "I wasn't using my cell phone... you can check my history... I wasn't on my phone!".

The officer explained that as he looked in the driver's window he saw my friend glance down at his phone.

"But I just glanced at it...  I wasn't on it, and I wasn't texting or anything!  And, when I looked at it, I was stopped at a red light!"

And still, the officer gave him $50.00 ticket... because apparently you aren't allowed to even "view" your cell phone... even if you're stopped at a red light.  You need to pull over, and put the car in park, before viewing your cell.

"How", my friend asked, "did you even know that I looked at my phone?"

The officer replied: "it was evening and the glow from your cell phone illuminated your face."

- 10

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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Rainmaker
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Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Alan, we like to play the game of "How many people can you spot on the phone while stopped at an intersection?"  When you actually realize thet roughly 3 out of 4 drivers are searching, texting or talking on their phone it makes you a little nervous about reaching your destination safely.  Rush hour is always the best for sending and receiving both calls and accidents. 

Aug 29, 2012 09:14 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,958,466
Gabe Sanders
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I applaud this law and am in full favor of it.  Though, I'm not so sure about glancing down at the phone while stopped at a red light.

Aug 30, 2012 04:12 AM #15
Rainer
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Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

And this is why about a third of the time in my area when the light turns from red to green that the car in front of me does not move...they are looking at their phones!

Aug 30, 2012 04:54 AM #16
Rainmaker
133,470
Julie Bentley
Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL - St Johns, FL
Saint Johns, FL REALTOR

Wow, it seems a bit harsh to disallow looking down at your phone while stopped at a red light although I agree with Kathryn that it is frustrating to be stuck at a red light behind someone not paying attention - for whatever reason. I'd be interested to know how much the accident rate in Evanston improved once the cell phone law was put in place.

 

Aug 30, 2012 05:36 AM #17
Rainmaker
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Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I know numberous people to have been pulled over because of this illumination Alan.

Aug 30, 2012 06:12 AM #18
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Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties Realty - Pineville, LA
Your Pineville Louisiana Agent

When you kill someone due to distracted driving, the authorities WILL pull your phone record. Good luck explaining to the judge why that call to Blockbuster Video couldn't wait.

Aug 30, 2012 06:32 AM #19
Rainer
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Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Great story, Alan!  Evanston sounds like a great place to live!  I'm amazed there aren't more accidents as distracted as everyone is these days.  One of the most poignant examples was displayed in a new show with Matthew Perry called "Go On".  One of the plot points is that his wife was killed while sending a text to him.  OUCH!!!

Aug 30, 2012 08:15 AM #20
Rainmaker
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Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County Real

I wish we had a law like that here. Texting and driving is illegal, but I still see people doing it. Just put the phone away until you are off the road and the car is turned off. And that goes for me, as well. :)

Aug 30, 2012 08:56 AM #21
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Karen - apparently not the case, here in Evanston (I would fight it, too).

Peggy - yikes!

Linda - that'll larn ya to honk!

Rob - I think it is "slightly" less distracting... but then so is adjusting your radio, or checking your wallet, or digging in the cushions of your seat, or searching through your glovebox, or eating a slice of ooey-gooey-pizza ... but oddly, none of those are illegal.

Chris Ann - can't disagree.... BUT see my comment above, to Rob.

Donna - I don't agree.  stopped, is stopped.  The only damage you can do while stopped is to piss of the guy behind you when the light turns green.

Tatyana - yeah, but even in this case... with handsfree... glancing at your phone could get you a ticket.

Gail - it's not the state... it's the local city laws.

Karen - my car is bluetooth as well (and it's 7 years old)... and yet, I do catch myself glancing at the phone occassionally... old habits die hard.

Kevin - and yet, I would say that "stopped" is stopped.

Gabe - exactly... stopped is stopped... you should be able to dig a cranberry out of your ear, if you want.  (that's right, I said "ear".... it's a family show).

Kathryn - annoying, yes... but a ticketable offense?

Julie - statistics can be made to say whatever you want.  I guarantee that they'll show a drop in accidents.  Did you know that 91% of statistics quoted online are fabricated?

Tom - you hang with an illuminated crowd!

Doug - and if you were texting or on the phone when the accident occurred, you deserve the full-force of the law.

Chris - I saw that.

Peggy - and that goes for me as well.

Aug 30, 2012 03:09 PM #22
Rainmaker
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Jim Patton
Century 21 M&M - 209-633-2839 - Turlock, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor.

Alan with the sorry state of city budgets everywhere I'm guessing it's going to get worse before it gets better.  But you are correct that you can fiddle with the radio and a whole bunch of other things that are much more distracting than just glancing down at your cell phone. 

Aug 30, 2012 04:14 PM #23
Rainmaker
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Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Alan - Illuminated but not very bright.  :)

Aug 30, 2012 09:12 PM #24
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Jim - it's not illegal to "apply mascara".

Tom - agreed.

Aug 31, 2012 03:52 PM #25
Rainmaker
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Donna Foerster
Cherry Creek Properties, LLC - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Well that's true.

Sep 04, 2012 06:25 PM #26
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Donna - now, don't get me wrong... I'm not advocating "pissing off the guy behind you"... but it hardly seems like it's worthy of a ticket.  Less'n, of course, the guy behind you is an officer of the law.

Sep 05, 2012 07:33 AM #27
Rainmaker
343,612
Laura S. Baker
First Weber Group - Lake Mills, WI
Realtor, (920) 728-4118, First Weber Group

Ouch!  Sounds to me like I shouldn't have sent you that text when you were driving home.  :O}

Sep 06, 2012 04:42 AM #28
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Laura S. Baker - nah... you're allowed to send... I'm just not allowed to "view".

 

Sep 06, 2012 05:01 AM #29
Rainmaker
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Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

Hi Alan, No cell phone law here but one may be coming.  Even so, surely you can check mail at a stoplight?!  
Why not?  We have some very long stoplights.  The law should include something about "When the vehicle is in motion." 

Sep 06, 2012 05:41 AM #30
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Dianne - exactly... stopped, is stopped... you can quote me on that.

Sep 06, 2012 06:55 AM #31
Rainmaker
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Suzanne Strickler
Weichert, Realtors - Wayne - Havertown, PA
Real Estate Information Blog

It seems the police officer was a tad zealous with his ticket writing. Where was this officer when a woman pulled up to a stop light next to me with her dog on her lap, and in her face, and thru the steering wheel?

Sep 06, 2012 05:24 PM #32
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Suzanne - I've found that asking the officer why they aren't out there chasing down 'real' criminals, is a sure-fired way to get the ticket accelerated.

Sep 07, 2012 05:59 AM #33
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