Office of Highway Safety Launches Operation Crash Reduction & “New”

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Launches Operation Crash Reduction and New Website Over Most Dangerous Holiday Period

DOVER, Del. (October 5, 2020) – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS) is launching a combination of initiatives over this October holiday weekend, which is the most dangerous time of the year for fatal crashes in the state with increased vehicular travel. To help drivers and passengers remember the importance of buckling up, the DOHS is teaming with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to check for seat belt usage in an initiative called Operation Crash Reduction. Additionally, DOHS is relaunching its highway safety website,, with more information and interactive tools to help inform Delawareans of road safety practices, including seat belt usage.

Operation Crash Reduction focuses on Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to NHTSA, from 2014 to 2018, this region had its highest number of fatal crashes (882) between the dates of October 1 and 15, and October was the month when most fatal crashes occurred. This regional campaign runs from October 9 through October 12 and includes a social media campaign to further raise awareness.

“During Operation Crash Reduction and all year long, our mission is to reduce crashes on Delaware roadways and save lives,” explains Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “With more cars on the road during this holiday period, there is more speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving behaviors, which lead to more crashes. We strive to provide our citizens with the information they need to stay safe, and that includes wearing your seat belt because buckling up provides the best defense against injury or death in a crash,” says Chesser. 

Through the relaunched website,, DOHS reminds drivers of the importance of seat belt use and other safe driving practices. “ contains the most up-to-date information on road safety to help Delawareans adopt safe driving, walking, and riding behaviors,” says Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist II & Public Information Officer, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “The site allows visitors to navigate and learn by road safety topic or by user role, such as driver or pedestrian. It features numerous new interactive tools and quizzes, all designed to educate Delawareans on road safety. Visitors can also register for upcoming DUI checkpoint text alerts,” explains Cavett.

Delawareans will find a dynamic, centralized repository of road safety information at detailing nine road safety topics determined to be the priority areas by the Office of Highway Safety’s rigorous analyses of crash data and trends. These include Seat Belt Safety, Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving, Drugged Driving, Speeding, Pedestrian Safety, Child Passenger Safety, Motorcycle Safety, and Teen Driver Safety.

“It’s very important to get out the Buckle Up message because seat belts save lives. We invite all Delawareans to visit to learn more about seat belt safety and other road safety topics to help save lives and reduce crashes across our state,” says Sarah Cattie, Occupant Protection Program Manager, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

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About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at


Media Contact:

Cynthia Cavett

Marketing Specialist II & Public Information Officer

Phone: (302) 943-7293

Email address: Cynthia.Cavett@Delaware.Gov

Border 2 Border National Seat Belt Initiative On May 20

Border 2 Border National Seat Belt Initiative on May 20

Joint Effort Targets Unbuckled Motorists in Maryland, Delaware
Buckle Up, Every Seat, Every Time

Cynthia Cavett, Delaware Office of Highway Safety (302) 744-2743

click it or ticket logo

DOVER, DE (May 15, 2019) – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS) and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) are partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), state and local law enforcement to kick off the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt safety campaign with Border 2 Border (B2B), a 1-day national seat belt awareness event on May 20.

“Buckling your seat belt is probably the single easiest thing you can do to protect yourself when you get in your car to drive. Delaware has a high seat belt use rate, however in 2018, 53 percent of vehicle occupants killed were unbuckled,” said Christopher Klein, Deputy Principal Assistant, Department of Safety & Homeland Security & DOHS, Acting Director.

In Delaware, 92.4 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers wear seat belts. For Maryland, 90.3 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers wear seat belts when traveling on state roadways, which is down from 92 percent in 2017. One in three occupants who die in a motor vehicle crash each year are unbelted.

“The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS) is happy to partner with the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office and agencies across the country to promote the “border-to-border” enforcement.  Law enforcement agencies in all three Delaware counties are working together to enforce Delaware’s primary laws for seat belts and child passenger safety to coincide with the national Click-It-or-Ticket initiative. It only takes 3 seconds to click it!” Sarah Cattie, DOHS Occupant Protection Program Manager.

Law enforcement across the region will join a multi-state seat belt enforcement effort on May 20 to initiate the Border 2 Border (B2B) 2019 initiative which includes a four-hour enforcement crackdown in each state. Local and national ads will run on billboards, television, radio and online through early June to generate awareness of this stepped-up enforcement.

“The 3 seconds it takes to buckle your seat belt could save your life,” said Christine Nizer, MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “The driver sets the example – we’ve found that passengers are much more likely to buckle up if the driver does.”

Unbuckled passengers can become projectiles in a crash, causing serious or fatal injuries to others in the car. In 2018, only 70 percent of back seat occupants in cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks were buckled up in Maryland.

“Highway safety is one of the most important issues we face daily,” said Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. “As we work to reduce crash deaths and injuries in our state and region, troopers will increase their vigilance, focusing especially on motorists violating the seat belt law.”

It’s the Law!
In Delaware: Driver will be cited for anyone in the car not wearing a seat belt or properly restraining a child. This is a primary offense. The penalty is $25 but with court costs and fees, the ticket will be $83.50.
In Maryland: Every driver and passenger must wear a seat belt. Children under the age of eight must be in a proper booster or child safety seat. Each person not buckled will receive an $83 citation.

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS)
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at

About the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA)
Learn more about the Maryland Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at, on Facebook at TowardZeroDeathsMD, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.  

Dave makes some terrible decisions—especially while driving. So buckle up. Wearing your seat belt can help protect you from drivers like Dave. Please feel free to share this video. Use the hashtags #CIOT and #ArriveAliveDE.


MOVE OVER LAW DAY – May 16, 2019

NHTSA Region 3 and Law enforcement Agencies Kick Off CLICK IT OR TICKET and MOVE OVER LAW DAY

Campaign also reminds drivers of mandatory “Move Over Laws” to protect law enforcement doing their jobs roadside

Cynthia Cavett, Delaware Office of Highway Safety (302) 744-2743

Move Over Law Logo

DOVER, DE (May 16, 2019) — As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and District of Columbia law enforcement agencies will join forces to remind drivers and passengers of the importance of seat belt use, while also highlighting their “Move Over” laws.

“Hundreds of DelDOT employees are out working on and around our roads every day and vehicles moving over when they see our crews increases safety for both our workers and the traveling public,” said Secretary of Transportation, Jennifer Cohan.

New to the region’s Click it or Ticket campaign this year, May 13 to June 2, is a reminder of the dangers first responders and roadway workers face while stopped on the roadways.  All 50 States have enacted “Move Over” laws, but very few Americans know they exist.
“With the recent crashes on 301 and the William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge in St. Georges City, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety cannot overstate the importance of compliance with the Move Over Law as it directly relates to the safety of our first responders and other response and utility personnel covered in the law. Please familiarize yourself with these laws and move over,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Deputy Principal Assistant, and Delaware Office of Highway Safety Acting Director, Christopher Klein.

“AAA is in the business of rescuing millions of stranded motorists across the country, including more than 70,000 in Delaware, each year. At the heart of this effort are service technicians and tow truck operators who put their lives at risk each time they respond to a member’s call for help. AAA encourages all drivers to slow down and move over for police, firefighters, emergency medical service crews, utility and municipal fleets, and tow operators working at the roadside,” Ken Grant, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Today’s emphasis on Move Over laws coincides with the conclusion of Police Week, which pays tribute to the local, State, and Federal law enforcement officers who serve and protect us with courage and dedication.

Thousands of Americans are alive today thanks to strong state laws, the Click It or Ticket enforcement and paid media effort, and the year-round “Buckle Up America” campaigns.
In 2017, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives of occupants 5 and older. From 2013–2017, belt use is estimated to have saved almost 70,000 lives.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit Click here for information on Move Over Laws and here for the Delaware Move Over Law in Section 4134 of Title 21, Chap. 41.

NASCAR Driver Ross Chastain sits down with highway safety super fan John Q. Rhodes at The Dover International Speedway for an exclusive discussion on seat belt safety.

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS)
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at


Parents Play an Important Role in Protecting their Teen Driver

Do you have a young driver in your house? Do they think they are a safe driver? The Office of Highway Safety (OHS), along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announce the “5 to Drive” campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 18 – 24, 2015. The campaign aims to help parents talk to their teen drivers about the rules of the road. “Even though your teens might be gaining some independence and getting older, protecting them from harm shouldn’t stop now,” said Jana Simpler, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

“The ‘5 to Drive’ campaign will give parents the tools they need to keep their teen drivers safe.” The “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers and provides parents the tools needed to talk with their teens about the rules of the road.

The “5 to Drive” rules for parents to share with their teens are:

1. No Drinking and Driving – almost one out of five (19 percent) of the young drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, even though they were too young to legally buy or possess alcohol.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. – 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 weren’t restrained.

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. – The age group of 15 to 19 years old has the highest percentage of drivers who were distracted by cell phone use and involved in a fatal crash. In 2013, 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You – In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. – The risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional passenger.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In 2014, Delaware lost 20 teens in fatal crashes. There are over 33,000 licensed teen drivers in Delaware. Teen drivers account for five percent of all drivers in Delaware yet are involved in approximately 15 percent of all reportable crashes in Delaware. Crash rates go up after a teen completes the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) requirements, emphasizing the importance of parental supervision and guidance of teen drivers for several years.

The Delaware Teen Driver Task Force has developed several resources for parents and teens to encourage a dialog of safe driving and rules of the road. These resources are available year round and are being highlighted during Teen Driver Safety Week.

• A subcommittee was created to update the driver’s education curriculum in Delaware high schools. The curriculum has been updated to meet the National Content Standards for driver’s education curriculum, meet the Common Core State Standards initiative and to include new traffic laws. The new curriculum will ensure continuity, measurement, and accountability for educators and novice teen drivers learning in Delaware.

• The Office of Highway Safety created a Graduated Driver’s License Parent Orientation Program to educate parents of teen drivers about their responsibilities under the GDL law.

• The DMV coordinated the Parent Supervised Driving Program and RoadReady app for parents and teens. This year theme is It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving.

• The SmartDrive Foundation is conducting in school education programs such as their Driving With Intention program, PROMise program and Distraction & Reaction program.

• The Delaware Teen Driver Task Force released a video titled “Crossing the Line”. The video tells the story of a 2012 fatal crash involving 17 year-old Andre Smith who was was killed in the crash on April 12, 2012 on Route 896 in Middletown. The video has become part of the revised Driver’s Education Curriculum. The video can be viewed and shared on the Office of Highway Safety Arrive Alive DE YouTube channel

On September 19th and September 26th, The Office of Highway Safety, along with the state’s Teen Driver Task Force and other partners, hosted two teen driver safety events for parents and teens. Parents and teens participated in several interactive stations together to build their driving relationship in a positive way. The event was open to students from all Delaware high schools regardless of event location. In addition, students were entered into a drawing for a scholarship if they attend one of the events and complete all of the activities. A total of 6 scholarships were awarded. Three scholarships were given away at each event. First place was awarded $1,500, second place was awarded $1,000 and third place was awarded $500. The 6 scholarship winners were from Sussex Technical High School, Sussex Central High School, St. Mark’s High School, William Penn High School and St. George’s Technical High School.

For more information and resources for teen drivers and the Graduated Driver License visit OHS website at, NHTSA website at or visit

OHS Director Simpler Named Chair of Governors Highway Safety Association

OHS Director Jana Simpler and GHSA Executive Director Jonathan AdkinsDelaware’s Office of Highway Safety Director Jana Simpler has been named Chair of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) providing leadership for a national organization focused on preventing highway fatalities.

“Working together with highway safety advocates from across the nation to reduce highway fatalities not only in our State but also across the nation benefits us all,” Governor Markell said. “With Jana’s leadership, the GHSA will continue to address many of the driving behaviors that result in deaths on our highways.”

Director Simpler, who will serve a one-year term, was elected chair of GHSA’s Executive Board at the Association’s Annual Meeting last week. GHSA is the national nonprofit organization that represents state and territorial state highway safety offices across the country. GHSA provides leadership and advocates for the States to influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices in improving behavioral highway safety across the country. In the coming year, GHSA will continue to provide national leadership on key highway safety issues, including drunk and drug-impaired driving, occupant protection, distracted driving and pedestrian safety.

“I appreciate the support of the Association and look forward to serving the membership over the next year as we tackle the challenges ahead. I am excited to work on legislative initiatives and strengthen our relationship with federal partners to achieve highway safety goals across the nation,” Simpler said.

GHSA’s Executive Board consists of four officers, representatives from the NHTSA’s 10 regions, and committee and task force chairs.

“We are extremely proud to have Jana represent not only Delaware but all 50 states as GHSA Chair. Jana’s extensive knowledge of the highway safety issues will help GHSA and its members work closer with its federal partners and legislators to prevent highway fatalities,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Prior to her 2015 election as GHSA Chair, Simpler was a member of the Association’s
Executive Board for multiple terms and served for two years as the Federal Relations Committee Chair. She has worked for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety since 1997 and has served as the Director since 2010.