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Police Ticket 31 Drivers In Under An Hour For Using Cell Phones

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 3/25/2014, 9:35am  ET

Montgomery County police carIt took less than one hour on Monday for 2nd District police officers to nab 31 drivers for talking or texting on their cell phones.

Capt. David Falcinelli, commander of the Bethesda-based 2nd District of the Montgomery County Police Department, said his traffic officers conducted aggressive enforcement on Monday “and will continue to do enforcement operations to make our roads safer.”

The law says drivers must have their hands free of cell phones at all times. Falcinelli said many people still believe holding a phone in your hand while using the speakerphone isn’t illegal. He also said many people incorrectly assume reading, writing or sending a text or email when stopped at a stoplight is legal. It’s not.

“One crash on a major artery during rush hour makes life miserable for the rest of us using that road. Is that text or call really that important to risk your life and the lives of other drivers?” Falcinelli wrote in a public safety update provided by the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

Police will also look to beef up enforcement of the no call and no texting laws near schools.

As for other area police news, Falcinelli provided updates on three high-profile crimes that police say were carried out by suspects from outside of Montgomery County.

Police recently got an anonymous tip that helped detectives identify one of the two men suspected in a Nov. 25 home invasion and robbery in the Wildwood neighborhood. A U.S. Park Police officer got into a chase and exchanged gunfire in D.C. with the suspect in a March 13 armed carjacking in Chevy Chase.

And on Thursday, police went on a lengthy foot chase through the streets of downtown Bethesda to catch one of two suspects who broke into a home in nearby Chevy Chase.

All of these suspects live outside of Montgomery County but chose to commit their crimes here. I cannot stress enough that you know your neighbors and your neighborhoods better than anyone else, and you must be our eyes and our ears,” Falcinelli wrote. “If you see someone not familiar to your neighborhood acting in a suspicious manner, please make note of a description of the person and/or any associated vehicle and call our non-emergency number 301-279-8000. Your phone call may help us prevent a crime from occurring and/or discourage these criminals from coming back to Montgomery County.”