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Friday, August 29, 2014

Police Crackdown on Driver Texting

The Westport Police Department, along with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) Highway Safety Office, today announced the kick-off of the Anti-Texting Enforcement Project, as part of the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign, Capt. Sam Arciola said.

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This effort by state and local police is designed to enforce Connecticut’s tough law that prohibits motorists from texting and/or using hand-held cell phones while driving, Arciola said. The crackdown will run from Wednesday, Sept. 3, through Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve fines ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

“We want you to know, if you choose to engage in this potentially deadly behavior, there will be consequences in the form of a substantial fine,” said Arciola. “Dedicated patrols will be watching for violators in Westport in an effort to enforce Connecticut’s zero tolerance for distracted drivers.”

Connecticut, through the DOT’s Highway Safety Office, was the only state to receive $2.3 million in federal distracted driving prevention funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Connecticut’s strong laws and policies made the state eligible for this funding source, according to Arciola.

In Westport, the Police Department received a $15,000 grant to carry out enforcement.

“Our goal will not only be to ticket motorists who disobey Connecticut cell phone laws, but we also hope to save lives by changing people’s behavior and deterring this all too common activity,” said Chief Dale Call.

Prior to receiving the grant, the Westport Police Department had recognized the need for additional enforcement with cellphone violations via patrols targeting violations, Arciola said..

While the focused enforcement mobilization ends on Sept. 24, Arciola said, officers will continue efforts to target individuals who violating cell phone laws. For more further information, visit http://www.distraction.gov.

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Posted 08/29/14 at 08:08 PM  Permalink



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