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The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and the Delaware State Police joined forces and came up with an innovative plan to cut back on distracted driving and seat belt violations in Delaware. A Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) truck was stationed at a roadside and was used to report incidents of these violations. Information about drivers, vehicles, and types of violations were sent to law enforcement officers who then went to stop the vehicles. The 19 citations included marijuana possession, child restraint and seat belt violations, and cell phone use while driving.
Since 2011, Delaware has followed a hands-free cell phone law, which prohibits drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. If caught, drivers receive a $100 fine for first offenses, and subsequent offenses can cost up to $300. The Delaware State Police and Office of Highway Safety’s Public Information Officer emphasized the state’s zero-tolerance distracted driving policy. She added that non-traditional operations, like the DelDOT vehicle, are being used to ramp up education as well as enforcement for those breaking the law.
A 2016 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that distracted drivers caused 3,450 deaths nationwide. These numbers have been steadily increasing in Delaware and throughout the country since 2012. Studies also show that drivers between 16 and 24-years old show more cell phone usage than other age groups. Other causes of distraction include eating and drinking, grooming, turning to look at an accident, talking with another passenger, and not paying attention.
It is important to stay focused when behind the wheel. One of the best ways to do this is to click on a seat belt, and either put away or use the Do Not Disturb feature for electronic devices before turning on the ignition. Any passenger that sees their driver using an electronic device should ask them not to use it while driving. If you must take a phone call, pull over to the side of the road.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact the Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. We will hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.