Fairfax Cracks Down on Distracted Driving

By Michael Pope - WAMU 88.5
|  Monday, Jan 10, 2011  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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Fairfax Cracks Down on Distracted Driving

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As smart phones have become increasingly popular, according to Fairfax police. People have been engaged in dumb driving, and police are tackling the habit -- with tickets.

The problem isn't just texting or chatting on the phone, said Fairfax police Capt. Susan Culin.

"Eating, putting on makeup, shaving, you know, we've seen it all," she said.

Now, her officers are cracking down. The number of tickets written for failure to pay full time and attention to the road has increased from 2,000 to 8,000 in the past five years, a period of time when that charge has actually decreased in Alexandria and Arlington.

Fairfax is intentionally going after suspicious behavior, such as "[crossing] the double-solid line or coming out of the lane, braking inappropriately, sitting still at the stoplight when the light had turned green," Culin said.

It's a campaign that's paying off for Fairfax County, which has seen a 45 percent decrease in fatal crashes and a 42 percent decrease in all crashes.

Michael Pope also reports for Northern Virginia's Connection Newspapers.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2011 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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