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Delaware Participates in the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign

Date Posted: Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Categories:  News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security

One day enforcement blitz April 11th

Dover- Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and Delaware law enforcement agencies are once again asking motorists to show how much they care about their loved ones by putting the phone down while driving.  Law enforcement will be ticketing those who don’t follow the law during a statewide one-day enforcement blitz on April 11th as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign running nationwide from April 10-15.

Distracted driving consists of any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task: driving.   In 2013, Delaware saw 149 cell phone related crashes and law enforcement issued over 19,500 cell phone citations.

Delaware’s cell phone law bans texting while driving.  Drivers are also required to utilize hands-free technology in order to use a cell phone to talk while driving.   It also bans the use of pagers, blackberry’s, PDA’s, laptops, games, or the use of any other electronic device while driving. If you have to make a call, pull over to a safe place to use your cell phone or use a hands free device such as a blue tooth.

Delaware’s cell phone law is a primary offense. If a police officer observes you using a handheld device while driving they can stop you for the violation and cite you $50 for your first offense ($106 total with fees).  If you get caught again penalties can increase to $300.  Violations do not incur points on your driver’s license. Since 2011, when the law went into effect, there have been over 35,000 cell phone citations issued statewide.

Get the facts:

  • 20-24 yr olds are the most over-represented in cell phone related crashes, with 25-29 yr olds second, and 19 yrs and under a very close 3rd. Of those crashes, 55% are caused by a person under the age of 30.
  • Males account for 55% of crashes and females 45%.
  • 62% of cell phone related crashes have occurred in New Castle County.
  • 22% have occurred in Sussex County, and 16% have occurred in Kent County.
  • Friday trends much higher than other days for cell phone related crashes.
  • Cell phone crashes normally increase in rate around lunch time and between 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. when bars close.

For more information on distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov/delaware or ohs.delaware.gov/cellphone.

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