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Dover Police Announce Pedestrian and Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign 4-4-16

Beginning April 11th through April 22nd, the Dover Police Department will crack down on distracted driving and pedestrian violations during their Walk Smart, Drive Smart campaign.

Since January of 2011, it has been illegal to use cellphones while driving unless a hands-free device is being used.  Despite numerous campaigns, advertisements, and enforcement efforts; the department is still seeing drivers on their phones talking or texting while driving on our roadways.  This not only creates a dangerous situation for the driver and their passengers, but every person around them on our roadways.

Title 21, Section 701(a)(4):
(4) For violations of § 4176C(a) of this title relating to electronic communication devices, when the violation is determined by personal observation by another law-enforcement officer who communicates the information to the arresting officer by radio or other telecommunications device, provided that the arresting officer is working in conjunction with the observing officer, the arresting officer is immediately advised of the violation and the vehicle being apprehended is the vehicle detected

Facts and Statistics

  • In 2013, there were 146 crashes attributed to distracted driving in Delaware, with 54 of those causing injuries, and 3 fatalities.  Through last week, there were 109 crashes with 56 injuries and no fatalities.
  • The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
  • As of December 2012, 171.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. (CTIA)
  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes. (NHTSA)
  • Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times. (VTTI)
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)
  • A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (UMTRI)

Despite numerous infrastructure improvements to provide safe walkways and crossing areas for pedestrians, pedestrian-related accidents and fatalities remain high in Delaware, ranking among the worst in the country.  Dover Police officers will work to enforce pedestrian laws in order to educate and change the behavior of those who choose not to utilize the proper areas to cross roadways in Dover.  The goal of the pedestrian enforcement campaign is to reduce the number of pedestrian related accidents/near-accidents and pedestrian fatalities in the area.  More information on Pedestrian Accident issues can be found at the following links:

Governor’s Highway Safety Association Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State

-NHTSA Pedestrian Traffic Safety Facts