The Milford Police Department is partnering with the Connecticut Highway Safety Office as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to crack down on drivers who ignore Connecticut’s mobile phone laws.

The joint effort will run through the month of April.

“Violating Connecticut’s distracted driving laws can be costly,” states a press release from Milford police.

Drivers who are ticketed for the violation can be fined $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $500 for third and subsequent offenses.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. This is a 9% increase 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.

Local police urge residents to remind family and friends to never text and drive.