Aug 292014

police carThe Orange Police Department along with the Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office, today announced the kick-off of an Anti-Texting Enforcement Project, as part of the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign.

This effort by state and local police will enforce Connecticut’s tough law that prohibits motorists from texting and/or using hand-held cell phones while driving. The crackdown will run from Wednesday, September 3, through Wednesday, September 24.

This enforcement mobilization marks the first time the State has utilized dedicated federal funds meant to curb this unsafe driving behavior. Law enforcement patrols will target motorists who choose to ignore Connecticut’s hand held mobile phone ban.

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

We want you to know, if you choose to engage in this potentially deadly behavior there will be consequences in the form of a substantial fine. Chief Robert Gagne noted that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get in a serious crash.

The State, through the Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office was the only one in the nation to receive $2.3 million in federal Distracted Driving prevention funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Connecticut’s strong laws and policies aimed at keeping driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel made the State eligible for this funding source.

Orange Police received a grant for $11,100 to carry out this enforcement mobilization.

“Our goal is to make Orange a safer place, and to reduce serious injury crashes. Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do behind the wheel.” said Police Chief Robert Gagne.

While the focused enforcement mobilization will end on the 24th, many law enforcement agencies have indicated that enforcing Connecticut’s tough hand held mobile phone ban remains a priority.

For more information about national distracted driving issues, visit www/distraction.gov

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