Dover – Officers statewide have issued 365 citations for speeding violations during the first full week of the 2009 Stop Aggressive Driving campaign. For the second year in a row, the important highway safety initiative which officially launched on July 6th is focused on stopping speeding drivers and reducing speed related crashes in the state. OHS is including speed enforcement activities conducted over the 4th of July weekend, where officers issued another 315 speed citations, in its campaign statistics to bring the grand total for the campaign’s start to 680.
To date, speed has been a predominant contributing factor in 14 (or 29%) of the state’s 48 fatal crashes, which is slightly greater than alcohol involvement listed as a factor in 12 (or 25%) of this year’s fatal crashes.
In addition to the 365 speed citations issued during the campaign’s first full week, officers also issued 3 citations for aggressive driving, as well as citations for 21 seat belt violations, 3 child restraint law violations, and 128 other traffic violations. Aggressive driving behaviors as a whole are listed as a factor in 29 (or 60%) of this year’s fatal traffic crashes. Speed is the most frequently listed aggressive driving violation.
Through the month of October, Delaware State Police in all three counties, New Castle County Police and Dover Police will conduct either single or two-officer team patrols looking for speeders and other dangerous drivers such as those who run red lights or are impaired by drugs and or alcohol. Additionally, State Police will conduct four (4) multiple officer team operations.
Enforcement will be conducted on roadways where crash data analysis has revealed an above average number of speed-related crashes. Many of these locations will be on secondary or rural roadways, which is where many speed-related crashes occur.
The public can also take an active role this effort by calling 911 to report aggressive drivers. Twelve roadway signs have been placed in or near high crash locations throughout Delaware, encouraging motorists to call 911 to report aggressive and impaired drivers.
Aggressive drivers are those who not only speed, but also tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, run red lights and stop signs and pull into traffic without giving others adequate room or time to maneuver. When motorists see examples of these dangerous behaviors, they are being asked to call 911 when it’s safe to do so (or have a passenger call for them), and provide dispatchers with a description of the vehicle, a license plate number when possible and the vehicle’s direction of travel. Alerts will then be sent to officers in the surrounding area to be on the lookout for the aggressive driver, make contact with him/her and cite that person for the offenses they observe. Drivers should not call or email OHS to report aggressive drivers.
The Stop Aggressive Driving campaign is the third initiative in the 120 Days of Summer HEAT campaign, a summertime crackdown on traffic violators.