Delaware Zeroes in on Distracted Drivers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Zeroes in on Distracted Drivers

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DOVER, Del.- The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and Delaware law enforcement agencies are reminding drivers to focus on driving and not using hand-held cellphones while driving. Over a four-year period (2012-2016), OHS reports March was found to be one of the highest months in terms of cellphone-related crashes in the First State.

OHS officials say they want to remind drivers that hands-free means hands-free.  This means no texting, checking email, using social media or taking selfies or pictures.  The department says drivers should keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. 

From March 2-19, law enforcement statewide will be conducting additional enforcement with the purpose of focusing on distracted drivers.  Other traffic safety violations will be addressed as they are observed.

Delaware's cellphone law bans the use of any hand-held device while operating a vehicle.  People can use hands-free technology in order to use a cellphone while driving.  However, if a driver needs to make a call, the department says it's best to find a place to pull over so that attention isn't taken away from driving.  If a police officer observes a driver using a handheld device while driving, the driver could be fined $100 plus court costs for the first offense.  If they're caught again, penalties can increase to $300. 

OHS also supplied the following facts:

  • A four-year analysis of Delaware crash data (2012-2016) reveals 55% of all cell phone related crashes are caused by drivers under the age of 30.
  • For those under 30, 60% of the crashes are caused by male drivers.
  • 77% of all cellphone related crashes occur between 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm.
  • New Castle County accounts for 62% of all cellphone-related crashes.  
  • Kent County accounts for 17% of all cellphone-related crashes. 
  • Sussex County accounts for 21% of all cellphone-related crashes.

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