Illinois Tollway wants to keep drivers focused with new ‘safe phone zones’

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CHICAGO -- The Illinois Tollway has a new plan to keep drivers focused on the road.

Monday it unveiled “safe phone zones,” encouraging drivers to pull of the road to text, check email and make calls.

Drivers will see those safe phone zones pop up inside the Tollway’s six oasis locations within the next month.

The goal is to promote safety and prevent crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 660,000 drivers using cell phones while driving at any given time during daylight hours across the U.S.

The Tollway wants to encourage drivers to pull off the roadway to use their phones. It’s partnering with Verizon and iStar Financial to launch “safe phone zones” at its six tollway oasis locations.

The safe phone zones will offer drivers seating, free Wi-Fi and charging stations.

Some drivers say it’s a great way to remind people to drive safe -- while others are skeptical it will help.

A quick reminder of how important it is to stop to make those calls or texts: studies show that the average amount of time your eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds.

So if you take your eyes off the road for five seconds at 55 mph, it’s like traveling the length of a football field. . .blindfolded.

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