Crackdown on Cell Phones While Driving Runs Through Monday - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Crackdown on Cell Phones While Driving Runs Through Monday

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Cell phones up. Police crackdown.

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is funding a statewide expanded crackdown that runs through Monday. That money pays for extra patrols specifically aimed at cell phone enforcement.

Lots of agencies are participating - upstate agencies and Milford, Millsboro, Georgetown, Camden, Wyoming, Delaware State Police and Dover Police.

WBOC had the chance to ride along with Dover PD on Friday morning's extra cell phone violation patrol.

"We're going to be out looking for distracted, cell phone violations," said Cpl. Brian Gedney.

And it's not even a minute after his car turns onto US 13 that Gedney spots what he's looking for - a woman in a truck on her phone.

Gedney says the big times are lunch time and morning and evening rush hours. Sometimes he drives around. Other times he sits and waits for the telltale signs of phone use.

"We see them with their hands up to their ear either side. What we're seeing a lot now is they're putting it on speaker phone and keeping it in front of their face," he said. "You'll see them using one hand to drive and the other hand to try and hold their phone and text. At night time we'll see the illumination from the phone."

Gedney says if he tickets someone for this, he knows they've violated the law.

"I know for sure they're on their cell phones. I'm not stopping them because I'm guessing they're on it."

The hope is these interactions will get people to think twice before using their phones while driving.

The ticket and associated fees cost a driver $116 - an amount Gedney points out is far more than the cost of a bluetooth headset.

Delaware's cell phone law went into effect in 2011. Since then officers across the state have issued more than 54,000 citations.

Fourteen states and Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

Drivers in Virginia can use a hand-held cell phone unless they are under 18 years old. In Delaware no hand-held cell phones are permitted for drivers, and the same goes for Maryland. Also, drivers under 18 in Maryland are banned from all cell phone usage.

Texting while driving in all three states is illegal.

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