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21 ticketed as Aurora police crackdown on texting while driving

Minimize risks: One big no-no for teens is be texting while driving. | Phoby ARAcontent

Minimize risks: One big no-no for teens is to be texting while driving. | Photo by ARAcontent

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Police in suburban Aurora wrote 21 tickets for texting while driving in just four hours during a special crackdown on distracted driving on the city’s East Side recently.

In all, 44 citations were written for a variety of offenses between 2 and 6 p.m. April 3 on Eola Road between Butterfield Road and Ogden Avenue.

Police say the reason for the crackdown is simple: Statistics show that 69 percent of crashes in that area of Aurora during the first two months of 2013 were rear-end collisions.

“The high number of rear-end collisions clearly indicates distracted driving,” said Aurora Police Lt. Pete Inda. “Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, or their mind off of driving makes them a distracted driver, and a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. We want the public to know that the Aurora police take traffic enforcement seriously and we will continue to work vigilantly to reduce crashes in the city.”

During the four hours of the project, police stopped 57 vehicles in which drivers were displaying signs of distracted driving.

By patrolling in undercover vehicles, the officers were able to blend in with traffic and see motorists who were texting, speeding, and displaying other signs of being distracted, police officials said. Once spotted, they radioed the offending vehicle information to marked patrol units which were also stationed in the area, and traffic stops were made.

Of the 44 citations issued, 21 were for texting, eight for uninsured motorists, and five for speeding. Tickets were also written for expired registrations, driver’s license violations, disobeying traffic control devices, tinted windows and more. Officers also found one driver who was wanted on misdemeanor charges. Little more than a dozen got off with written warnings.

“Distracted driving is driver-initiated, so it is therefore, 100 percent preventable,” Inda said. “Whether it’s talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, applying makeup, or just plain daydreaming, these are the types of behaviors that take drivers’ attention off the road and lead to crashes.”

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