Local and state law enforcement agencies are cracking down on distracted driving in Fairfield County as part of a statewide campaign in Connecticut.
From Aug. 1 through Aug. 15, local police departments are teaming with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office to continue the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign.
“Texting and driving is a public safety crisis. Our mission is to save lives and protect the public. Enforcing texting and driving laws is a critical priority for our department,” Westport Police Capt. David Farrell stated. “Starting August 1, the community will see an increased and highly visible law enforcement presence on our roadways with a focus on safety. Our officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is endangering the public due to texting and driving. If you text and drive, you will pay.”
The initiative began earlier this year, in April, when more than 10,000 summonses were issued to motorists in Connecticut. During the two week campaign, local police agencies will be adding patrols designated to target motorists using their cellphones while driving.
The details have been formally announced by police departments in Darien, Wilton, Stamford, Westport and Norwalk.
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. Police said that in 2016, there were 3,450 distracted driving-related deaths and in 2015 an estimated 391,000 were injured in distracted driving motor vehicle crashes nationally.
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