Delaware Creates Police Unit Focusing on Interstate Drivers

More Patrols Coming to Freight Routes of I-95, I-495, I-295 and Delaware Route 1
Delaware Memorial Bridge
The Delaware Memorial Bridge. Interstate 295, from I-95 to the bridge, one of the special enforcement areas. (C. Prisciandaro/Wikicommons)

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Three interstates forming the backbone of Delaware’s freight route are now the focus of a new state police Highway Safety Unit that will concentrate on patrolling interstate traffic.

The new police unit is a collaborative effort between the Delaware State Police, the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

“Unsafe driving has become far too commonplace on our roads, especially our highways,” noted Nicole Majeski, state transportation secretary. “The new Highway Safety Unit sends a strong message to everyone driving on our roads that safety should be everyone’s priority, and DelDOT is pleased to support this collaborative effort with DSHS and DSP.”

Nicole Majeski


The Highway Safety Unit will be an 11-person team dedicated to statewide traffic enforcement on designated “high intensity” roadways with heavy traffic. State police will focus on the entire stretch of Delaware Route 1 as well as the following interstates:

  • I-95 (from the Maryland line to the Pennsylvania line)
  • I-495 (from the I-95 junction south of Wilmington northbound to the I-95 merge just south of the Pennsylvania line)
  • I-295 (from I-95 to the Delaware Memorial Bridge)
Nathaniel McQueen


“As we remain focused on reducing fatalities and crashes in our state, the new DSP Highway Safety Unit enables us to devote full-time resources to proactively address traffic safety priorities,” said Nathaniel McQueen Jr., state safety and homeland security secretary. “This dedicated unit will be a visible presence on our highways and instrumental in preventing crashes, minimizing injuries and saving lives.”

MORE: Delaware Enlarging Port With New $635 Million Terminal

DSP, DelDOT and the DSHS Office of Highway Safety can add other highway sections for the new unit to patrol based on speed, aggressive driving complaints, crash data and incidents of intoxicated drivers.

According to DelDOT, I-95, I-495 and I-295 together form crucial freight corridors for trucks, which provide the main mode of freight transportation (nearly 70%) in the state. “In 2020, approximately 68.7 million tons of freight worth $101.3 billion moved to, from or within Delaware,” stated a DelDOT 2022 state freight plan.

2022 Delaware Freight Plan

Saying state police are glad to be partnering with other state agencies and the community on a shared goal to improve roadway safety, Col. Melissa Zebley, state police superintendent, said, “The HSU is a proactive initiative to combat traffic safety challenges in Delaware. We are committed to deploying our resources strategically to address areas of concern and promote safer driving behaviors.”

Traffic safety remains a state priority for Gov. John Carney. Current actions by DSP and DelDOT to address traffic safety include greater enforcement to deter speeding and distracted drivers, increased multimodal safety investments statewide, adding more intersection safety measures and testing a wrong-way driver notification system.

Chart for Delaware story

DelDOT gives the federal definition of a vulnerable road user, which is a non-motorist, such as a pedestrian, cyclist, road worker, who is killed or injured in an accident involving a vehicle. (Delaware Department of Transportation)

Also, DelDOT has launched a new safety campaign called “Be DelAWARE” and conducted a 2023 Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment that identified high-risk roadways based on 11 years of data that evaluated factors like crash locations and circumstances.

The study determined that July through October had the most crashes. The day with the most crashes was found to be Friday, followed by Thursday and Wednesday. Most vehicle accidents occurred on these days from 3 to 8 p.m.

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