From April 2 to April 30, 2018, The Connecticut Department of Transportation will be partnering with State and local law enforcement as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) National Distracted Driving Awareness month.
The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, a high-visibility effort to enforce distracted-driving laws is designed to make sure all motorists keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
“Everyone is aware of the dangers of distracted driving, but too many drivers continue to break the law on Connecticut’s roadways,” said Jim Redeker, the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “A recent study found that while more than 80 percent of drivers believed it was completely unacceptable for a motorist to text behind the wheel, over a third of those same drivers admitted to reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle themselves.”
“We need our citizens to know that this behavior is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous,” added Redeker.
Research conducted after the 2017 U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign found that motorists do respond to distracting driving campaigns. Prior to the start of the April 2017 campaign, 8.3 percent of drivers were observed with a phone in their hand in areas police planned to conduct enforcement. This number fell to 6.9 percent after that enforcement effort had concluded.
“Distracted driving fatalities are avoidable, so we are going to continue with campaigns that target people who choose to pick up a phone when they’re behind the wheel,” said Redeker. “The constant reminder that we are out there patrolling is the only way to drive that message home.”
Violating Connecticut’s distracted driving laws can be costly. Drivers who are ticketed for this violation can be fined $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $500 for third and subsequent offenses.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation urges 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.
For more information, visit www.distraction.gov.