Distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions. In our digital age it’s not just dropped items and children distracting drivers, it’s text messaging, cell phone chats and iPod usage. Though a Connecticut law makes it illegal to use an electronic device while driving, many drivers hit the roads and “multi-task” during their daily commute. Police in and around Hartford recently set up a week long campaign to catch and ticket violators. Funds for the targeted checkpoint came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During this particular campaign the officers involved were looking for people using their cell phones and other electronic devices. As they set up the sting near Flatbush and New Park Avenues officers quickly realized that it was going to be impossible to catch every violator. So many people were using their cell phones, texting and not wearing seat belts that the seven offices didn’t have enough time to pull over every violator.
Within just one hour the focused patrol had issued 15 cell phone violations, 13 seat belt violations and seven texting violations. In addition two people were ticketed for not having proper safety restraints for their children.
The sheer number of violators, in just one area, indicates how serious the problem is. Though distracted driving is still a huge issue in Connecticut, Lt. Dave Dubiel is hopeful that the stops and citations will decrease the number of injuries and death caused by distracted drivers.
“We want to change driver behavior and we’d prefer to do it without giving tickets,” said Lt. Dubiel. “We’re trying to save lives one stop at a time.”
The staff and attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren would like to remind you to please put away your cell phone while driving. The momentary inconvenience might just save a life.