UPDATE (12:20 p.m.)—Anne Arundel County police are attempting to crack down on distracted driving throughout the area by initiating special enforcement practices along Route 2 in Edgewater, according to a press release.
In an effort called Operation Eagle, police are seeking to address “the growing problem of distracted driving” in its various forms, such as texting, handling pets or eating while driving, the release stated.
“Distracted driving is described as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving,” officials said in the release. “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.”
Police will begin conducting special enforcement efforts on Route 2 in Edgewater, Parole, near Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie, between Route 50 and Route 100, and along Route 3 in the Crofton area starting Friday, according to the release.
Officers will conduct the initiative during two specific days of enforcement each month using both marked and unmarked vehicles. Police also will distribute handouts about the dangers of distracted driving in addition to issuing warnings and citations, according to the release.
“The goal of the operation is to reduce serious crashes while aiming to change behaviors of drivers,” the release stated.
Police reminded residents that driving while writing, sending or reading a text message is punishable by a $70 fine and one point on your driver's license.
To clarify, police spokesman Justin Mulcahy told Patch that officers won't pull someone over just for eating food and driving, but that swerving is enough of a reason to stop a driver.
"There are behaviors, such as a car swerving, which may result in a traffic stop as a primary offense and it may then be learned that someone was distracted such as eating or on a phone, which is a secondary offense ... only texting is a primary offense," Mulcahy told Patch in an email.
Do you ever drive while distracted? How serious of a problem is it?