Police target aggressive drivers
By Roger Hillis
In the first week of an a statewide enforcement and awareness initiative to stop aggressive driving, Delaware police officers have issued 268 citations for aggressive driving behaviors and another 108 to unlicensed, unbelted, and uninsured motorists for a total of 376 citations.
State officials launched the second phase of the 2007 "Stop Aggressive Driving" campaign last week; the first phase was conducted in February and March.
Aggressive driving has been a primary factor in 36 of Delaware's 56 fatal crashes this year. That figure represents an eight-percent increase in aggressive driving related fatal crashes compared to the same time last year, officials said.
"The ability to stop aggressive driving is in every driver's hands," said Andrea Summers of the Office of Highway Safety. "You can control how fast you're driving, whether or not you roll through a stop sign instead of making a complete stop, or how close you drive to other people. The reality is that these are all examples of aggressive driving, and aggressive driving kills.
"For those who choose not to obey traffic laws, we'll have stepped up enforcement in place for the next five months in hopes of preventing more deadly crashes."
The following is a breakdown of the number of violations found during the first week of aggressive driving enforcement:
# Nine for aggressive driving, 196 for speeding
# Twenty-six for unsafe lane changes
# Twelve for following too closely
# Eighteen for running stop signs and stop lights
# Six for passing on the shoulder
# One for failing to yield the right-of-way.
The campaign runs through November.
Various state and local police agencies with high crash locations in their jurisdictions have been provided with federal grant funding to conduct overtime patrols.
Some participating agencies will use two-man teams as well as unconventional vehicles to catch violators.
Anyone who sees an aggressive driver is encouraged to call 911 as soon as it's safe to do so and provide dispatchers with themake, model and color of the vehicle, direction of travel, and license plate information if possible. They should not continue to follow the aggressive driver, Summers said.
For more information, visit www.ohs.delaware.gov.