State fleet vans and other vehicles are being deployed this month throughout the First State to spot distracted drivers.
The initiative is part of a focused April enforcement period Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety is holding in conjunction with Delaware State Police
"Distracted driving, accidents and fatalities have been on the rise since 2012 nationwide, as well as here in Delaware. So, we’re trying to come up with some ideas on how we can reverse that trend. And one of the things we found out was that in some other states, they’re using non-traditional vehicles to spot people who are either or their cell phones or texting,” according to Mitch Topal, OHS marketing specialist and public information officer.
He says the state has already used this approach during two enforcement efforts on March 29 and April 12.
The first netted 13 violations for distracted driving, six seat belt violations and five other violations. The second resulted in 17 distracted driving violations, five seat belt violations and five other violations, including one arrest for driving under the influence of drugs, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
April is “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.”
According to NHTSA, 3,450 people were killed across the country in 2016 in crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving fatalities have been trending upward both nationally and in Delaware since 2012.
Texting while driving is especially problematic trend among millennials. Statistics show drivers between 16 to 24 years old are using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.
You can read more about Delaware Traffic Statistics here: