Decatur City Council, police discuss options to combat distracted driving

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Decatur police and city council members are trying to crack down on distracted driving.

Decatur City Council Member Pat McDaniel wants to add a hefty fine for distracted driving.  The idea drew support from Decatur Police Chief Jim Getz, who told the council how dangerous using electronic devices and driving can be.  Chief Getz also mentioned statistics that say distracted driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than someone driving under the influence.

Chief Getz says, "You're looking down at your phone a few seconds, and you've traveled the length of a football field.  You could hit the car in front of you, the person in front of you, drive off the road, it's just dangerous.  People need to not do it."

Additionally, Councilman Pat McDaniel was not happy about the lack of support for the city ordnance.  

McDaniel warned other council members saying, "I better not let me catch any of you talking on a cellphone in your car. I will make a citizens arrest."

Many council members agreed that the fight against distracted driving starts with educating the public on the dangers associated with it.

City officials also say a group of protesters attended Monday night's meeting, arguing that the city should take economic and environmental issues into account before logging a small wooded section across from Sportsman Park.

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