FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield Police Department will continue the “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.” initiative to crackdown on motorists who choose to text, talk or otherwise distract themselves while driving by using a phone.
“We’re making gains”, said Lt. Robert Kalamaras of the Fairfield Police Department. “Considering the seriousness of this problem and the fact that we saw movement in the right direction is a sign we need to continue to this program”
According to surveys conducted last year’s crackdown, there was an 8 percent drop in mobile phone use by drivers at observation locations throughout municipalities where police conducted enforcement.
“Unfortunately, the fear of a getting a ticket is the only incentive for people to change their behavior”, said Kalamaras. “Everyone thinks they can do it, that a crash won’t happen to them. Sadly, we see it every day and it can and does happen”.
The campaign will run from Aug. 3 through Aug. 16 and marks the second time this year law enforcement agencies will mobilize by adding special patrols. The last operation, which took place during April, resulted in over 12,000 citations issued to motorists who chose to ignore Connecticut’s distracted driving laws.
Nearly 50 law enforcement agencies including both state and local police are again participating in this operation – aimed at keeping Connecticut’s roadways safe. The Department of Transportation announced in April that the results of recent research found an estimated 11.1 million occurrences of distracted driving happen each day throughout the state of Connecticut.
According to the findings, it is estimated that 9.6 percent of drivers were either texting or talking on a hands free device. Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.
“We’re going to keep doing this until people get the message,” Kalamaras said. For more information about national distracted driving issues, visit this link.
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