Delaware’s ban on using hand held cellphones while driving turns six months old

When a truck driver slammed his rig into a train carrying a load of potatoes in Milford Sunday afternoon, police said the man was “using an electronic communication device.”

That driver joined a growing list of people who have received citations for not complying with the ban on the use of hand held cellphones while driving.

Since the ban took effect January 2nd, Delaware State Police say there have been more than 5,400 drivers cited for breaking the law.  Although they get no points on their licenses unless involved in an accident, violators face a fine of $50 for a first offense or $100 to $200 for repeat offenses.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, meanwhile, released studies earlier this month which suggest that states which have not yet implemented a ban on using hand held cellphones while driving “wait until more definitive research and data are available on these laws’ effectiveness.”

CLICK HERE to read the GHSA report.

The original sponsor in the General Assembly, State Representative Joe Miro (R-Pike Creek), said the high number of citations indicate that either awareness needs to improve, or that many drivers still need convincing.

“I think we need to be a little more aggressive that it is the law, that they can’t use hand held cell phones and cannot text while driving,” Miro said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.