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State targets distracted driving with 'covert' vehicles

Courtesy of Delaware State Police

Delaware State Police issued 19 citations over the weekend during an increased distracted driving enforcement effort in Sussex County.

The effort used troopers in unmarked vehicles— including a DelDOT dump truck.


Nearly fifty vehicles were pulled over for distracted driving violations during a similar effort last month in New Castle County.

“Distracted driving, it’s a serious issue,” said Delaware State Police spokeswoman M/Cpl. Melissa Jaffe. “Using the unconventional vehicles, it just gives us a chance to do something different. We’re really looking to target distracted driving, and particularly the cellphone use, which is particularly underreported.”

Cynthia Cavett, spokeswoman with the state Office of Highway Safety, says increased enforcement efforts will continue during April, which is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“We’re trying to educate every Delawarean state-wide to just keep your phone down,” said Cavett. "Don’t look at it. And if you have to, lock it up in your glove box. Put it in your trunk. Because it is a bad habit."

Cavett says the Office of Highway safety will partner with local municipalities on enforcement efforts using “covert” vehicles for the first time this year.

According to the Office of Highway Safety, there have been nearly 1,000 vehicle crashes attributed to texting or cellphone use in Delaware over the past five years, with roughly 200 in 2018.


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