Law enforcement plans March crackdown on use of mobile handsets


The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and Delaware law enforcement agencies plan to be on the lookout for motorists using smartphone handsets while driving

The highway safety office reported this week March sees the most accidents related to use of mobile devices and other forms of distracted driving.

In Delaware, holding a mobile device is punishable by increasingly hefty fines. Also unlawful is texting, checking email, using social media or taking selfies. Neighboring Maryland has a similar law, while Pensylvania does not.

Neighboring Maryland and New Jersey have similar laws, while Pensylvania does not. Local units of government can pass handset ban laws in Pennsylvania.


In all instances, you can use a hands-free technology. However, if you have to make a call, it’s best to find a place to pull over so that your attention isn’t taken away from driving, the safety office advised.

Also, a part of the hands-free technology in many vehicles are increasingly large video screens that display information that can prove to be a distraction.

If a police officer observes the use of a handheld device while driving, the motorist can be fined $100 plus court costs. If you get caught again, penalties can increase to $300.

Distracted driving facts:

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

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