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Oak Park Considering Ban On Eating While Driving

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OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — You might sometimes feel compelled to eat in the car when you’re on the run, but in Oak Park, such activity could soon be illegal.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, driving while eating will be a ticketable offense in Oak Park if the village board approves proposed by one of its trustees earlier this week.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

The Chicago Tribune reports trustee Colette Lueck says her proposed ban is about public safety, given how dangerous distracted driving can be.

Lueck raised the issue at a board meeting Monday, after Oak Park police Chief Rick Tanksley said distracted driving was an issue in the town, the Tribune reported.

Across Illinois, numerous laws are already on the books targeting distracted driving. Texting while driving is already illegal statewide, and several municipalities, including the city of Chicago, do not permit talking on cell phones while driving without a hands-free device.

Several other suburbs have more stringent ordinances on the books about distracted driving. In Highland Park, a motorist can be ticketed for inattentive driving if caught eating, reading, or operating hand-held computers if pulled over for another offense, the Tribune reported.

Five years ago in Winnetka, police Chief Joseph DeLopez proposed an ordinance that would have made operating a radio or game, grooming, eating, drinking and tending to pets illegal while driving, but that ordinance never passed, the newspaper reported.

Oak Park would be the first suburb to ban eating while driving specifically.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader tells the Tribune that distracted driving is a much broader issue than just cell phone use.

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