Michigan State Police to use unmarked police cars to crack down on distracted driving

Michigan State Police, county sheriff’s offices, and local police departments will begin conducting Operation Ghost Rider on Monday. The goal is to reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries. 

"Distracted driving continues to be a top traffic safety concern on our roads," said Jim Santilli, CEO of TIA and chairman of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commissions’ Distracted Driving Action Team. "We can save lives by simply keeping our eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times. We hope Operation Ghost Rider will further educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving."

Police will be using unmarked spotter vehicles, which contain a law enforcement passenger. When the spotters observe a distracted driver, they radio a fully marked law enforcement unit to initiate a traffic stop.

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"Distracted driving crashes are 100 percent preventable. As drivers, we must do better," said F/Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. "We will continue to educate motorists and hope that personal accountability will help decrease distracted driving. But we also know enforcement is key."

The following will be participating: Auburn Hills Police Department, Chesterfield Township Police Department, Clinton Township Police Department, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby Township Police Department, Sterling Heights Police Department, Taylor Police Department, and Utica Police Department.

According to TIA, preliminary numbers for 2022 indicate 57 persons were killed and 5,905 were injured in 15,441 motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in the state of Michigan.

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