Dover – Thousands of speeding, impaired and unbelted drivers on Delaware roadways this summer were cited as part of a summertime crackdown on traffic violators. The “120 Days of Summer HEAT (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic)” campaign is a high visibility traffic safety initiative aimed at reducing traffic deaths and injuries in the First State. The umbrella traffic initiative unifies Delaware’s three primary safety campaigns conducted during the summer months. They are: Click It or Ticket, Checkpoint Strikeforce and the Stop Aggressive Driving campaign.
Delaware law enforcement officers statewide participated in the various campaigns by conducting traffic safety checkpoints and/or roving patrols. OHS and law enforcement began turning up the HEAT in May with the launch of the 2009 Click It or Ticket campaign. Under that initiative, officers issued 2,012 citations to drivers for seat belt violations.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, safety and police agencies turned up the HEAT on impaired drivers with the launch of Checkpoint Strikeforce. The DUI checkpoint program has resulted in 191 DUI arrests since that date. Additionally, officers statewide began conducting DUI saturation patrols as part of a nationwide crackdown on impaired drivers on August 22nd. Another 37 individuals were arrested for DUI under that effort.
On July 6th, the HEAT was on aggressive drivers as OHS launched the speed focused Stop Aggressive Driving campaign. Since then, Delaware State Police, New Castle County Police and Dover Police have issued 3,845 speed citations to drivers. This campaign will continue through the end of October.
In addition to the primary arrests in each campaign, officers also collectively made arrests for other serious violations over the last three months including: apprehending 138 wanted individuals, recovering 6 stolen vehicles, making 127 drug arrests and 80 felony arrests, citing 43 minors for underage drinking violations, recovering 10 weapons, and making arrests for another 42 criminal violations.
Currently alcohol-related fatalities are half of what they were at this time last year, speed-related fatal crashes have declined since the Stop Aggressive Driving campaign’s launch from 30% to 18%, and lack of seat belt use in driver and passenger fatalities has declined from 65% in August to 58% since OHS added statewide stepped up enforcement of occupant protection laws last month.