Evanston police during a special traffic enforcement effort earlier this month ticketed 20 people for violating the city’s ban on holding your phone while driving.

Cell phone ordinance violations were the second most frequent citation issued — trailing only the 39 citations for seat belt violations.

Evanston police during a special traffic enforcement effort earlier this month ticketed 20 people for violating the city’s ban on holding your phone while driving.

Cell phone ordinance violations were the second most frequent citation issued — trailing only the 39 citations for seat belt violations.

The city ordinance bars drivers from using cell phones while driving unless they’re equipped with a hands-free device.

The grant-funded holiday traffic enforcement effort was centered around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and ran from March 11 to 20. It targeted evening rush and night-time hours.

Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther says officers set up stationary enforcement zones in high traffic areas to look for violators.

They also found seven drivers without valid insurance, one driving on a suspended license, issued 20 other citations for various traffic offenses and made four arrests for driving under the influence.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Oh Hah! I counted 50 cell

    Oh Hah!

    I counted 50 cell phone users in one 15 minute period at the corner of Oakton and Ridge!

    This is a wonderful opportunity for our fair city to fill the budget deficit. 

    Just stand out there with a camera and, blam! $50 a pic….

    Two cops, one hour, 200 multiplied by $50 = $10,000.00!!!!!!

    You can nail cell phone users at all hours of the day and night wherever you go…

    With a little effort the police department could bring at least a $1,000,000.00 per year!

    It's called "enforcement".

    And, as a past tobacco researcher who worked with 30 towns in Illinois, I know from 

    my personal experience with NIMH funded studies, published in peer reviewed journals, 

    that when existing laws are enforced, usage rates of proscribed activities diminish and/or

    are eliminated. 

    All the cops have to do is enforce  the law.

    Too bad that stopping an airhead with a latte in one hand and a cell phone in the other, or

    someone who is talking "hands free" isn't as exciting as chasing after a felon, but the cops

    could make a contest out of it to see who makes the most stops! Maybe give the winner a 

    cell phone 🙂 

  2. 20 ticketed for cell phone use

    @winning.turtle.  Thank you for an actual count.  On Sunday, 2x in 20 min at the corner of Sherman x Church.  In each case, I had stepped off the curb on a Walk sign and the driver in question was making a left turn on red (yes, I know – with two one-way streets makes this technically legal).  As a frequent pedestrian, I have lots of time to see these infractions.  Can I make "citizen's arrest" photos with my phone?

  3. 20 Only?

    Wish it was more and it should be everyday. It IS a great way for the city to raise money and make our streets safer too. I've seen these drivers do crazy stuff while yakking on their celphones like turning left on a one way street between Davis and Maple! I am mom with a small kid and it is always with trepidation that we cross Dempster Street because these drivers almost always ignore the Stop sign or are just blind to it. I welcome this piece of news but I wish ticketing of such violation would be stepped up.

  4. Cell phone usage

    WOW…..I wish I could make arrests every time I see drivers on their phones in Evanston! …… Just like all the times I see people double-parked in the downtown area, or people in handicapped parking spots with no stickers or special license plates…….

    Why doesn't the city "deputize" some citizens…….a special task force, so to speak, to catch and ticket all these people? What a huge load of money they'd make!!!!   

    1. Good grief

      And there it is. The true nature of many of the people of Evanston. Stasi wannabes. Yes, let's turn our fellow citizens into secret agents of the government. Let's foment even more paranoia than already exists. Brilliant! Get out the jack boots!

      Some of the people in this town truly scare me.

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