Put The Phone Away, Troopers Cracking Down On Distracted Driving Utilizing Unconventional Vehicles

Delaware – The Delaware State Police and the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) have joined forces to address the issue of distracted driving by conducting a series of statewide enforcement initiatives utilizing unconventional vehicles.

The last of four initiatives were conducted in Sussex County on Saturday, March 16, 2019, during the mid-afternoon time frame. The area targeted during this initiative was secondary roadways in the Lewes area. During this operation, Troopers utilized a stationary unconventional vehicle to spot distracted driving violations as well as seatbelt violations.

Once a violation was observed, the Troopers were provided with a description of the vehicle and operator, along with a detailed description of the violation. The Troopers then conducted a traffic stop. During the four hour initiative, a total of 19 citations were issued for infractions including cell phone usage, seatbelt and child restraint violations and a civil possession of marijuana.

The Delaware State Police and Delaware OHS said that they recognize that distracted driving caused by the use of personal electronic devices is a very dangerous behavior that continues to make Delaware’s roadways less safe. Distracted driving is an ever growing problem and the hope is that through enforcement initiatives along with educational opportunities, we can send the message that texting/talking while driving is not only illegal but can be deadly.

“These initiatives reinforce the message that Delaware is sending to the public. We have a zero-tolerance policy for distracted driving. The Delaware State Police and Office of Highway Safety are stepping up enforcement and education for distracted driving through traditional and non-traditional projects, such as this one, across the state throughout the year. This last of the series of four non-traditional initiatives come on the cusp of National Distracted Driving Awareness month in April,” Cynthia Cavett, OHS Marketing Specialist and Public Information Officer.

According to NHTSA, 3,450 people were killed across the country in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016. Nationally and in Delaware, distracted driving fatalities have been trending upward since 2012. Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. Young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.