DSP Uses Planes for Traffic Initiative - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DSP Uses Planes for Traffic Initiative

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - Delaware State Police teamed up with 14 other states along I-95 for the "Drive to Save Lives Initiative" Saturday.

 The initiative aims to reduce traffic fatalities by 15 percent  in 2014. State troopers were out Saturday doing aggressive traffic enforcement.

According to DSP's Lieutenant Colonel Monroe Hudson, this is the first time Delaware has participated in this program.

"We're looking for speed violations, aggressive drivers, distracted drivers and drunk drivers," he said.

While the traffic enforcement blitz is targeted for I-95, DSP expanded it in Delaware to state highways as well.

And the initiative doesn't just involve ground patrols, police were in airplanes watching the cars below.

The pilot of one of these aircrafts, Captain Ronald Hagan, flew over Route 1 Saturday afternoon looking for people driving faster than the rest of traffic.

"If we see something that we think is traveling at a high rate of speed or in an aggressive manor we'll turn around and follow them so we can positively identify the ground units that that's the one they need to stop," he explained.

This is an effective technique because unlike a helicopter, most people do not notice the plane up above.

Jessica Vazquez of Seaford said she thinks it's crazy that the planes can do that, but a good idea.

"I mean people do need to slow down especially here around the beach area, people walk around," she said. "So that is good, but we just gotta slow down."

By adding the air patrol along with extra troopers, DSP hopes to send a strong message to drivers.

"In Delaware last year we had 101 fatalities, year to date we have 42 so we're already on pace to beat last years record," Lt. Colonel Hudson said. "We want to change that behavior, we want to reduce fatalities in our state and make our highways safer."

The initiative was conducted Saturday from 8 am to 4 am.
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