Police out in force looking for texting drivers

The Milford Police Department along with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office has announced the continuation of the “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.” campaign.

Officers will be cracking down on motorists who text, talk or distract themselves with a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

During the first wave of this campaign in April, more than 10,000 citations were issued to motorists who chose to ignore Connecticut’s distracted driving laws.

“While this is a start, there is still more work to be done,” police said in a press release.

The second run of this two-part campaign will go from now through Aug. 15.

Throughout the campaign, Milford Police Department will have special patrols aimed at catching distracted drivers – especially those on their phones. More than 50 law enforcement agencies, including both state and local police, who were previously involved in the April 2018 campaign, will again be participating.

The special patrols that will be running during this campaign are funded by Connecticut’s special distracted driving prevention funds. Connecticut qualifies for this federal funding source through a mix of tough laws and a proven track record in strong enforcement of distracted driving laws.

Over $9.1 million has been awarded to the state over the last three years specifically to fund campaigns like this one.

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.

In 2016, there were 3,450 distracted driving related deaths and in 2015 an estimated 391,000 were injured in distracted driving motor vehicle crashes nationally. For more information about national distracted driving issues, visit www.distraction.gov.