The Transportation Improvement Association (TIA) announced a new distracted driving enforcement initiative on April 25, 2017. 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.
During a total of 18 hours of enforcement in 2017, law enforcement officers conducted more than 907 traffic stops resulting in 726 citations and 34 arrests.
In 2018, 49 officers stopped 530 vehicles, issued 440 citations, and made 9 arrests in a 6-hour period.
During 2019, 22 officers stopped 300 vehicles, issued 295 citations, and made 5 arrests in 12 hours. 2019 also included night enforcement for the first time.
Due to COVID-19, Operation Ghost Rider did not take place during 2020.
39 law enforcement officers stopped 673 vehicles during 2021, issued 589 citations, and made 17 arrests. The program was expanded into Wayne County.
Operation Ghost Rider, which involves the Michigan State Police, and county and local law enforcement agencies, was featured in The Wall Street Journal and at the 2019 Governor’s Highway Safety Association’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. TIA is currently working on expanding the program.