The following article was compiled from a press release from the Wilton Police Department.
Connecticut law enforcement has a message for drivers: Put down the cell phones and electronic devices while behind the wheel.
The Wilton Police Department is taking part in the statewide partnership between state and local law enforcement through the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT-DOT) Highway Safety Office efforts to enforce distracted driving laws from Oct. 15-31.
“A driver’s focus should be on the road, not their phone,” CT-DOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “Starting Oct. 15, the community will see an increased and highly-visible law enforcement presence on our roadways with officers stopping and ticketing anyone driving distracted. If you have a phone in your hand, expect to be holding a ticket in the other.”
Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the nation’s leading causes of vehicle crashes. At any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using or manipulating electronic devices while driving — a number that has held steady for over a decade. In Connecticut in 2021, there were over 5,400 crashes attributed to distracted driving.
“There are far too many drivers engaged with cell phones and other electronic devices,” Giulietti added. “It’s wrong and unlawful. No text message is so critical that it’s worth risking lives.”
Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers who are 16- or 17 years old are prohibited from using a cell phone or mobile device at any time, even with a hands-free accessory.
The CT-DOT urges everyone to put their phones down when they get behind the wheel. Pull over and park in a safe place if you need to send a text.
Violating Connecticut’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. Ticketed drivers are fined $200 for the first offense, $375 for the second offense, and $625 for the third and subsequent offenses.
For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration online.