The Milford Police Department will be out in force April 2 to 30 looking for distracted drivers as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, a high-visibility effort to enforce distracted-driving laws.

“Drivers are continuously ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel, and distracted driving is a growing and deadly threat on our roadways,” according to a police press release.

The Milford Police Department 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.

According to the NHTSA, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016. This is a 2% decrease in fatalities compared to the previous year. An analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety of 2009-2012 data found that while more than 80% 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 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.

Local police remind residents that if they need to text while driving, they should pull over and park their vehicle in a safe place first, and remind family and friends to never text and drive.