Ridgefield, Conn. -- Ridgefield Police will be cracking down on distracted driving this month during its annual U Drive. U Text. U Pay enforcement campaign.
Ridgefield officers will be out in full force through April 30 in a high-visibility campaign to enforce distracted driving laws, with extra patrols on certain days specifically looking for cell phone and texting violations.
Ridgefield is teaming up with the Connecticut Department of Transportation during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) National Distracted Driving Awareness month to make sure all motorists keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
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.
According to the NHTSA, 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. This is a 9 percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year. 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.
Drivers who need to text should pull over and park their cars in a safe place first. You should also remind friends and family to never text and drive.