Chicago cops lag state troopers in distracted driver tickets

Law enforcement data shows Illinois State Police troopers take a hard line against distracted drivers but that Chicago police aren't really enforcing the law barring drivers from using mobile devices while on the road.

The Chicago Tribune reports that state police issued more than 14,000 tickets in 2018 for texting or talking on a cellphone without using a hands-free device - a spike of over 700% citations from the previous year.

But figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show Chicago police officers issued just 297 tickets for the same violation last year, down from 531 in 2017. Chicago police issued more than 45,000 such tickets in 2014.

Safety advocates say distracted driving is perhaps even more of a hazard than drunken driving.