In an effort to address the growing problem of distracted driving, the Anne Arundel County Police Department is taking steps to curb this behavior through “Operation Eagle”. The operation, which focuses on the enforcement of the primary offense of texting while driving, will also place an emphasis on other forms of distracted driving. Distracted driving is described as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians, but the behavior of texting while driving has shown to be particularly dangerous as it causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road more than other forms of distracted driving.
The distracted driving initiative will be conducted with two specific days of enforcement waves a month in Anne Arundel County beginning today and ending in October. Aside from specific enforcement details, officers will generally be looking for distracted drivers, enforcement that recently began on July 1. The goal of the operation is to reduce serious crashes while aiming to change the behaviors of drivers. The Anne Arundel County Police Department with assistance from the Maryland State Police, Annapolis Police Department and Crofton Police Department will utilize both marked and unmarked vehicles for enforcement. In addition to the issuance of warnings or citations, handouts will be provided to educate the public on the inherent dangers of distracted driving.
During the operation, specific enforcement will be conducted on Route 2 in Parole and Edgewater, Route 2 near Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie, Route 2 between Route 50 and Route 100, and along Route 3 in the Crofton area. As a safety reminder, drivers are encouraged to turn off mobile phones and other electronic equipment while driving, pull over if children or pets need attention, program navigational devices prior to leaving home, eat before you drive and use hands free devices for emergency calls only. Drivers should know that per Transportation Article 21 1124.1 b, a driver writing, sending or reading a text or electronic message while operating a vehicle in the travel portion of the highway is subject to a $70 fine and one point on their license.