(CBS) — Illinois State Police are out without warning that they are stepping up efforts to catch distracted drivers.
Crashes have skyrocketed recently, on a small stretch of the Jane Addams Tollway, even causing deaths.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker has more on the length police will go to stop distracted drivers.
There may not be a state budget in place in Illinois, but there is still an operating fund for road construction and the Illinois State Police are out on the roads, so bad drivers beware.
Illinois State Police say they will be cracking down on distracted drivers this spring and summer, especially around construction zones on area highways.
“Drivers are doing things such as eating, grooming, using mobile phones,” said Illinois State Police Captain David Byrd.
If you are showing signs of distracted behavior, somebody may well be watching.
“We use all types of technology,” said Mike Stone of the Illinois Tollway Authority. “We’ve used binoculars, we’ve used cameras. We’ve been able to pinpoint certain real hotspots.”
One of those hotspots is the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. Since a huge reconstruction project began last year, the total number of crashes rose from 1,436 in 2014 to 2,193 in 2015.
Last month, a limousine overturned near Route 125 on I-90. That crash killed a woman and injured five other people, including the driver.
Motorist Matt Muller said he encountered a distracted driver earlier on Tuesday.
“I saw one guy who was very obviously texting and driving,” Muller said. “He was insane. He almost hit two trucks because he just didn’t even see anybody. I don’t know what was going on in his mind.”
Parker talked to another driver who voiced his annoyance at distracted drivers, then admitted he eats a lot while driving. Those mobile picnics could lead to a fine or ticket or worse.