Distracted driving crackdown underway

For the month of October, Berlin police will be out in force looking for distracted drivers as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign, a high-visibility effort to enforce distracted-driving laws.

Drivers are continuously ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel, and distracted driving is a growing and deadly threat on our roadways. Berlin police are teaming up with the Connecticut Department of Transportation during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Distracted Driving Awareness month to make sure all motorists keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

Distracted driving is a real problem. During this enforcement period, officers will be ticketing anyone who is texting or on their phone while behind the wheel. The bottom line is if you text and drive, you will pay.

Violating Connecticut’s distracted driving laws can be costly. Drivers who are ticketed for this violation can be fined $200 for a first offense, $375 for a second offense and $625 for third and subsequent offenses.

According to the NHTSA, there were 26,004 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers between 2012 and 2019. In Connecticut in 2019, more than 6,600 crashes were attributed to distracted driving.

An analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety of 2009-2012 data found that while more than 80 percent of drivers believed it was completely unacceptable for a motorist to text behind the wheel, more than a third of those same drivers admitted to reading text messages while operating a passenger motor vehicle themselves.

The Berlin Police Department, NHTSA, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation urge you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, pull over and park your vehicle in a safe place first.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Press Release

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