To date, since last June in the Danbury area, nearly 3,500 citations have been given to motorists who choose to ignore the potentially life-changing risk and steep fines by focusing on their mobile phone, rather than the roadway. “If there are still motorists in the Danbury area who haven’t got the message – texting and driving is dangerous and illegal – we can expect those 3,500 citations to increase in number during this enforcement mobilization.” said Danbury Police Chief, Alan Baker.
Violating Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, which was updated to include higher fines on October 1, 2013, will cost violators between $150 and $500. Texting and using a cell phone while driving are also considered moving violations, which can be reported to insurance companies. This can result in higher premiums for violators.
Law enforcement will be out, looking for texting drivers and using innovative strategies to identify motorists who choose to endanger themselves as well as others in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Monroe, Newtown, Redding and Ridgefield.
“Motorists travelling in the Danbury area can expect that State Troopers will be vigilantly looking for operators who may be texting and driving. People who drive distracted aren’t giving their full attention to the roadway and, many times, we will see you before you see us,” said State Police Spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.
The eight participating law enforcement agencies have helped to set precedent for other law enforcement agencies around the country during this successful and first of its kind effort to specifically identify and cite motorists who choose to text and drive. “Techniques developed during the last year over these four enforcement WAVEs will be analyzed and reported on by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and shared with law enforcement agencies nationwide, making Connecticut a leader in the field of distracted driving prevention.” Said Town of Redding Police Chief Doug Fuchs “We are proud to have partnered with our neighboring agencies, State Police and the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office to help affect positive change, raise awareness and hopefully, be a model for ongoing enforcement efforts” Fuchs continued.
This partnership project between the Connecticut Department of Transportation and state and local law enforcement was created in 2012 to help identify effective strategies for enforcing laws banning texting and driving.