Gilbert PD cracking down on distracted drivers

Posted at 8:06 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 22:06:45-05

Traffic stops are way up in Gilbert after police have been told to crack down on distracted drivers.

Right now, they're focused on two areas, from the Loop 202 along Williams to Val Vista and the Val Vista corridor from Warner to Elliott.

Gilbert Police Chief Tim Dorn he's on a mission to do something about the problem.

Late last year, Dorn went to the home of Chandler Police Officer Bryant Holmes.

He knocked on the door and told Holmes' wife and four children that Holmes was killed when a distracted driver ran a red light.

"That really caused me to sit back and say we have got to do something," said Dorn.

Since they launched the campaign in July, traffic stops are up 34% city-wide, and more than 120% in certain high traffic areas.

Traffic deaths meanwhile are down.

"We had ten fatalities the first six months of this year. Since we started this campaign back in July we've had four," said Dorn.

Gilbert police have achieved their results by using what some might call a loophole.

There is no law in Gilbert that bans either distracted driving or using a cell phone while driving, so officers have been cracking down on traffic infractions.

Pulling people over for swerving in lanes, crossing into bike lanes, and failing to signal.

"These are all violations that involve impairment or distracted driving or both," said Dorn