Dover Police Hope to Crack Down on Distracted Driving - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Police Hope to Crack Down on Distracted Driving

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DOVER, Del.- Stop the texts. Stop the wrecks. It's a simple message Dover City Police say is being ignored. As part of an effort to help with problem of distracted driving within the city, the department has kicked off a "Put it Down" campaign to get drivers to put down their cell phones while driving.

"It's an epidemic," said Cpl. Mark Hoffman with the Dover Police Department. "It's caused thousands of crashes. Hundreds here in the city."

According to Dover PD, in 2013 there were 146 crashes in Delaware due to distracted driving. As of last week there were 109 crashes so far this year due to the same problem. The department says it has done a number of other initiatives since 2011 when using a cell phone while driving first became a violation, but police say they still see drivers violating the law.

"That's what's causing all of the wrecks," said John Nicholas of Dover. "Get rid of the cell phones."

"Anywhere it's just dangerous," said Leondrei Simmons of Dover. "People do it all the time."

With this new "Put it Down" campaign, Dover Police are hoping to solve this problem. The department says it will be using social media to help spread awareness. They say they will also have more officers cracking down on those who break the law.

"We'll have officers that might be walking the streets in plain clothes downtown," said Cpl. Hoffman. "Or they'll be in an unmarked police vehicle and call out violations to other officers who are in marked police vehicles so they can take action."

Some people are glad something more is being done.

"Maybe it'll teach people to think twice before they even text and drive," said Nicholas.

Others are a bit more skeptical.

"It'll be even great if it could actually stick and people will follow and do it," said Simmons. "But that's all you can hope for."

Ready or not, officers will get drivers to put down their cell phones or pay the price.

For more information, visit the Dover Police Department website at www.doverpolice.org.

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