VERNON HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — Nearly a dozen students from Vernon Hills High School were getting the word out to drivers Wednesday – school zones are no-cell phone zones in Illinois.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, between 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., the school’s Operation Teen Safe Driving student committee was joined by representatives T-Mobile for the effort. Flanked by the T-Mobile cell phone mascot and the school mascot, Cody the Cougar, students warned that the cell phone use is dangerous while driving – particularly near schools.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Dina Paykina was one of 10 Vernon Hills students who were posted at the entrance to the main driveway to the school, at 145 Lakeview Pkwy. in Vernon Hills.

She knows firsthand about how dangerous it can be.

“I was kind of on the phone, and I was lost, and then I, like, hit a curb, and my tire completely, like, burst,” Paykina said.

Student Monica Lozovaty says she never talks on a cell phone while driving, and won’t let others do so either.

“If someone’s sitting by you, I just take the phone and call who they want me to call, and text who they want me to text, because I don’t think it’s worth it,” she said.

Drivers seem to be getting the message. WBBM Newsradio only noticed one motorist talking on a cell phone while driving near the school.

Under state law, cell phone use without a hands-free device is forbidden in school zones, highway construction zones, and anywhere in the city of Chicago. Neither hand-held or hands-free cell phones may be used by novice drivers, a category that includes anyone under the age of 19.

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