Dover Police Announce Distracted Driving and Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign 3-26-2018

Throughout the entire month of April, the Dover Police Department will crack down on distracted driving and seat belt violations in the City of Dover.

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, as well as several accidents attributed to distracted driving.  This not only creates a dangerous situation for the driver and their passengers, but every person around them on our roadways.

Chief Mailey has tasked the officers of the Dover Police Department to focus their traffic enforcement efforts on Distracted Driving and Seat belt Violations throughout the month of April, which will also coincide with multi-agency 2018 Drive to Save Lives initiative from April 20-21, 2018 and National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

In regards to the increased focus on Distracted Driving and Seat Belt violations, Chief Mailey stated:  “The goal of this initiative is to educate drivers about Delaware’s laws regarding distracted driving and seat belt usage and correct the behavior of violators who put themselves and others at risk on our roadways.  While a recent Delaware Office of Highway Safety study states that current seat belt usage rate is 92% (compared to the National seat belt rate of 86%), we are still obligated to ensure that drivers and passengers are properly secured and obeying our laws for their own safety.  Distracted driving, specifically the use of cell phones while driving, continues to be a major factor in crashes in city, following the trend of state and national data as well.  While our total amount of vehicle crashes (1,817) was a 5-year low for the City of Dover, I firmly believe that we can continue to drive that number down through distracted driving enforcement efforts and make our streets safer to travel.”

 

DELAWARE DISTRACTED DRIVING (CELL PHONE LAW)

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

  • The number of people killed nationwide in distraction-affected crashes in 2016 was 3,450. An estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2015 as well.
  • 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)

DELAWARE SEAT BELT LAW

  • Everyone in the vehicle, including backseat passengers and children, must wear seat belts properly.
  • Lap and shoulder belts must be worn and shoulder belts must not be placed behind the back or under the arm.
  • The driver will receive an $83.50 fine (plus court costs) for the failure of anyone in the vehicle to buckle up.

Facts and Statistics (Office of Highway Safety, Delaware)

  • 44% percent of all occupant fatalities in 2016 were unrestrained.
  • January through June are the months with the most unrestrained crashes
  • 39% of unrestrained crashes happen between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Wearing a seat belt increases your chance of surviving a crash by almost 50%, while reducing the severity of injury.
  • 77% of people involved in unrestrained crashes are males.
  • You are four times more likely to be killed in a crash if you are ejected from a vehicle because you are not buckled up.
  • Hospital data shows that unbelted occupants in crashes are 3 times more likely to require a hospital stay. On average, hospital costs for an unbelted crash victim are 55% higher than those for a belted crash victim.
  • Strong seat belt laws protect families. When parents are buckled up, 90% of the time their children are too.

About Dover Police Department

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