Police Use Dump Trucks to ID Texting Drivers on I95 - Southern Maryland Headline News

Police Use Dump Trucks to ID Texting Drivers on I95

Secondary targeting directed at driver's who failed to "move over"
MSP Sgt. Michael Smart drives an MDTA dump truck looking for distracted drivers during "Operation Trojan Horse" today. (Photo: MSP)
MSP Sgt. Michael Smart drives an MDTA dump truck looking for distracted drivers during "Operation Trojan Horse" today. (Photo: MSP)

PERRYVILLE, Md. (April 27, 2016)—A cooperative focus on distracted drivers today along the northern portion of I-95 involved police from multiple departments, some of whom were using unconventional vehicles to identify more than 170 motorists stopped for violations related to driving while distracted.

Dubbed "Operation Trojan Horse," police used marked and unmarked patrol cars, as well as Maryland Transportation Authority dump trucks during an operation today from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on I-95 from Baltimore City to the Delaware line. Police involved included officers from the Baltimore County Police Department, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff's Office, and troopers from the JFK Highway, Bel Air, and North East barracks.

The operation was a concerted effort to enforce and educate motorists of the dangers of distracted driving and failing to move over for emergency vehicles. Troopers in the "Trojan Horses," or the MDTA dump trucks, identified motorists who were distracted by using cell phones and hand held devices; the high vantage point allowed officers to easily peer into cars as they passed by. Police units would then make a stop of the violator and then other supporting units would enforce the "Move Over" law while the stop was conducted. Troopers and officers would then explain the violations to the motorists and express the importance of compliance to these violations.

The effort resulted in the following:

• 172 motorist contacts

• 113 citations

• 111 warnings

• 1 safety equipment repair order

• 4 commercial vehicles inspected with 1 driver and 1 vehicle being placed out of service

• 2 drivers with suspended driver's licenses

Police say initiatives of this type are already being planned for future enforcement operations.

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