Government Police/Fire

Second Phase of Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign Underway in West Hartford

Photo credit: Ronni Newton
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The second phase of the West Hartford Police Department’s 2017 distracted driving high visibility enforcement campaign began Aug. 2, 2017.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police are once again targeting distracted driving as the second phase of the 2017 “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign is underway.

Capt. Jeff Rose, who heads the West Hartford Police Department’s Traffic Division, said that as of 3 p.m. Monday, less than four days into the campaign, 107 tickets had already been issued.

Eight extra officers per day will be patrolling in marked and unmarked cars with the goal of enforcing Connecticut’s law that prohibits motorists from using handheld cellular phones or mobile electronic devices while driving.

Rose said that extra patrols will be deployed looking for distracted drivers on main roads including Park Road, New Britain Avenue, Farmington Avenue, North Main Street, and Albany Avenue. Enforcement will also target other roadways where distracted driving is observed.

The campaign is made possible with a grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office. The second phase began Aug. 2 and runs through Aug. 16.

In the first phase of the 2017 campaign, held from April 4-30, 2017, there were 715 citations issued for distracted driving offenses, Rose said.

During April, officers assigned to the distracted driving patrol also issued another 41 citations for seat belt violations, speeding, driving under suspension, and registration violations, made one DWI arrest, two arrests for possession of marijuana, and recovered a stolen car.

 

Fines in Connecticut for violations begin at $150 for a first offense, increase to $300 for a second offense, and are $500 for subsequent violations. Fines double in a construction, utility, traffic, or fire safety zones.

“Distracted driving is a hazard and threat to the motoring public,” Rose said. “We want to make our roadways safe.”

 

The goal, Rose said, is to “save lives by changing people’s behavior and deterring this dangerous habit.”

This campaign is one of several that the West Hartford Police Department participates in throughout the year that are supported by the Connecticut DOT and NHTSA with the goal that enforcement will promote safe driving behaviors that will make roadways safer for all who use them.

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1 Comment

  • This is good, especially if the town wants to keep making WH more bike and pedestrian friendly. The distracted drivers are the biggest risk to it being doable. You can paint the roads with all the sharrows you can, but if someone is looking at their phone instead of the road, it won’t spare a vulnerable person on the street.

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