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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Police Launch ‘U Text, U Drive, U Pay’ Campaign

Westport police will launch another no-texting-while-driving campaign beginning Wednesday. Image

in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Highway Safety Office, the “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” initiative will run through Aug. 16.

Lt. David Farrell said last year’s crackdown statewide netted an 8 percent drop in mobile phone use by drivers at observation locations throughout municipalities that conducted enforcement.

He said the decrease encouraged law enforcement agencies to continue enforcement, underscoring that driver mobile phone use is dangerous and illegal.

The most recent one in April of this year netted more than 12,000 citations issued statewide.

“We’re making gains,” Farrell said.  “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.

“Unfortunately, the fear of a getting a ticket is the main incentive for people to change their behavior,” he added. 

“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.”

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

He said Connecticut is the only state to receive special, distracted driving prevention funds for special patrols to identify, stop and cite drivers who choose to ignore distracted driving laws.

More than $6.8 million has been awarded to the state over the last three years for such campaigns.

“We’re going to keep doing this until people get the message,” Farrell said.

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Posted 08/02/16 at 08:26 PM  Permalink


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