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Community Responds to Police's Distracted Driving Enforcement

Check out what your neighbors are saying about the police department's increase monitoring along Route 2 in Edgewater and south county.

Last week, Anne Arundel County police announced their plan to —something that was met with both thankfulness and frustration by Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch readers.

In the effort called Operation Eagle, police are hoping to address “” in its various forms, such as texting, handling pets or even eating while driving, according to a police press release.

However following the announcement, more than 50 comments flooded Patch and its Facebook page as residents expressed either frustration or happiness that police are focusing on the issue. With 365 LIKES on Patch’s article, there were a lot of opinions floating around from a variety of perspectives.

Many of those who expressed frustration said they support the enforcement but think police officers should be held to similar standards—citing occasions where they’ve seen police talking on their phones, texting or typing on their in-car computers. Some readers said police are exempt from the rule because they’re specially trained drivers, but it wasn’t a feeling that seemed to be in the majority.

An equally represented group of readers showed appreciation for the enforcement strategy, saying that distracted driving is one of the biggest problems along Route 2.

Here is a rundown of unedited comments from those who expressed frustration from the police announcement on Patch and its Facebook page.

Kristi: I love the idea of not being able to text while driving let alone talk on the phone unless you have a Bluetooth. But it would be Better if the people "cracking down" on this law would stop as well. Not a day goes by that I don't see a cop texting or talking on the phone.

Debbie Thames: But cops can be driving & on their computer...thats pretty distracting!! Ive been beside a cop & he was on facebook on his computer in his car!

Melissa Huston: How about the cops on their cell phones? or the ones driving 20mph over the speed limit? or don't use their turn signal while doing all of the above?

Nancy Szekretar Rhodes: I JUST witnessed a cop texting while driving. I guess thats OK?!

Here is a rundown of unedited comments from those who showed appreciation for the police announcement on Patch and its Facebook page.

: People not using hands-free cell phone devices is a big problem in the area also. I see numerous people holding their phones and talking every day!

: There should be more serious consequences than a $70 fine and one point on your license. Up the points on the license, and the cell phone should be confiscated immediately. PERIOD. Distracted driving is a HUGE problem!

Jess Hurley: Honestly though, I do see the point. There ARE some people that seriously need to be pulled over for distracted driving. Its just the ridiculous things they pull you over for nowadays that blow my mind. 
God help you all if I'm ever forced to drive a stick-shift. LOL ;)

Dawn McHale: It's called being responsible!

Gina DeHaven: FINALLY!!! If you have to do all those things in your car to make it to work on time, then you need to reprioritize or wake up earlier!

Police spokesman Justin Mulcahy told Patch that officers won't pull someone over for simply eating in their car. But if a driver swerves or shows symptoms of distracted driving, police can then issue a fine based on their findings, he said. 

What do you think of Operation Eagle? Tell me in the comments. 

Maryellen Brady July 20, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Every day a police officer enters the public arena and takes on the responsibility of caring for the safety of thousands. They r demonized when they want a decent wage and praised when they catch the bad guys. And of course, there are those who are never satisfied. I for one think this is another task that puts police officers on the forefront of public safety and performing a necessary job the community needs done,
Joyce H Jones July 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Yeah. People are not the same when they get into the car. Otherwise nice people turn into a force not to be reckoned with while in their car.
Beverly Strickland July 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Once people get into the automobile, they change completely, ie, eating, texting, unusually high speeds, etc etc. This NEEDS to change and people need to slow down in their life styles, cars and everything related.
Trez Moreland July 21, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I strongly agree with this distracted driving initiative and I wholeheartedly support our law-enforcement officers on this. And I surely appreciate the challenging and dangerous responsibilities our officers have. But I believe they should be held to the same standards as everyone else. When they put on that uniform and drive that law-enforcement vehicle, they are roll models for us, our neighbors, and our young people.
kathy frankes July 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Fact is, officers are not above the law. I have yet to see a cell phone law or distracted driving law that upholds exclusions for officers or any type of government employed persons, as anyone with a govt tag can be seen breaking the laws listed as well. I am in full support of cracking down, on ALL individuals, esp on route 2 coming down from edgewater to south county! It is a one lane road, with nothing but a yellow line between oncoming traffic, as well as bikers on the shoulder. I have yet, in the 2 years of living out here, to be able to drive route 2 without someone crossing the yellow line, going 20mph under the speed limit causing miles and miles of unnecessary traffic back ups, and at least one person on a handheld cell phone, mostly driving on the shoulder, between swerves and different speeds. I try at all cost to avoid route 2, will go 15 mins out of the way, rather then take the risk with those driving on route 2! Scary does not even sufice for the distracted driving that goes on on that stretch!

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