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Operation Ghost Rider: Police riding in unmarked cars to target distracted drivers on M-59

Posted: 4:46 AM, Apr 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-26 07:18:46-04

(WXYZ) — Law enforcement officers across the metro Detroit area are continuing Operation Ghost Rider

The goal is to reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries.

Operation Ghost Rider uses 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. Police will target distracted drivers along the M-59 corridor.

Participating agencies include the Auburn Hills Police Department, Chesterfield Township Police Department, Clinton Township Police Department, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Shelby Township Police Department, Sterling Heights Police Department and Utica Police Department.

"Distracted drivers put themselves and everyone around them in danger," said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham in a release. “No text message, social media update, or any other behavior that takes your eyes off the road is worth ending a life or causing an injury. We hope Operation Ghost Rider will change driver behavior so everyone can reach their destination safely."

Records indicate 77 people were killed and 7,213 were injured in 18,297 crashes involving a distracted driver in Michigan during 2018.

“It is important to remember that distracted driving is totally preventable,” said F/Lt. Michael Shaw, public information officer of the Michigan State Police. “Please remember that you must keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. We look forward to working with our local and county partners to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.”

Drivers who use a hand-held device are 4 times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash.