Seaford, Harrington Police Crack Down On Drivers On Cell Phones, Over 200 Tickets Issued

During the 10 days of the 2019 Delaware State Fair, the Harrington Police Department conducted several patrols within the city limits targeting distracted driving. These patrols were in conjunction with the Office of Highway Safety 2019 Delaware State Fair Initiative. Officers on patrol worked 4 hours a day and 3 officers were assigned to each patrol. 183 tickets were issued over the 10-day course of the fair.

“The Harrington Police Department is committed to ensuring drivers are keeping their eyes on the road through these non-traditional techniques to enforce the law and provide education. We want people to have fun in Harrington at the Delaware State Fair, but we also want visitors to travel to and from as safely as possible,” Captain Earl K. Brode, Public Information Officer, Harrington Police Department.

With the increase of both pedestrian traffic and motor vehicle traffic during the Delaware State Fair, the Harrington Police Department’s primary goal is to ensure the safety of all the citizens who live in Harrington and those who come to visit the Delaware State Fair.

Totals for Delaware State Fair 10-day patrols are listed below:
Total Cell Phone Citations: 105
Speeding Citations: 22
Other Traffic Citations: 41
Seatbelt Citations: 14
Drug Arrests: 1

“With the increased traffic activity surrounding the Delaware State Fair, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety was pleased to partner with the Harrington Police Department in support of their Distracted Driving efforts. Drivers need to be hyper-vigilant and truly focus on road changes where traffic patterns differ due to events like this. Events aren’t an excuse to use your phone and lose sight of the road,” Sarah Cattie, Distracted Driving Program Manager, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

In June and July of 2019, the Seaford Police Department, in conjunction with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, conducted ‘Operation Cool Down,’ a non-traditional distracted driving operation throughout the city of Seaford.

“The mission of this operation is to make the roadways in the city of Seaford a safer place to travel,” Master Corporal Eric Chambers, Public Information Officer, Seaford Police Department.

During ‘Operation Cool Down,’ non-traditional policing methods were utilized to include plain-clothes officers operating in unmarked vehicles such as family-style sedans, dump trucks, and utility vehicles. Upon seeing a violation, the plain-clothes officers would then contact uniformed officers participating in the operation who would then conduct traffic stops in marked vehicles to issue citations. Most successful times for enforcement citations occurred between 4 PM and 8 PM every day.

“The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is pleased to support the Seaford Police Department’s non-distracted driving initiative, ‘Operation Cool Down,’ to enforce cell phone violations. With increased travel during the summer season, it’s imperative that drivers focus on the road and not the feed. Seaford Police Department has been a great partner in enforcing and educating the public using covert spotter techniques to conduct a successful operation,” said Cattie.

Totals for nine patrols over two months are listed below:
Total Cell Phone Citations: 114
Other Traffic Citations: 89
Seatbelt Citations: 41
Wanted Person Apprehensions: 2
Child Restraint Citations: 2
Drug Arrests: 2
Speeding Citations: 1

In Seaford the operation was in response to over 80 calls for service involving distracted driving complaints in a three-month time frame. 67 of those complaints involved speeding/aggressive driving and/or distracted driving. Other complaints involved passing stopped school buses. In the same three-month period there were 165 complaints involving motor vehicle collisions on major roadways in the city of Seaford.