CT State Police plan increased enforcement through Labor Day weekend

More than 35 million drivers are expected to travel across the United States this upcoming Labor Day weekend, with the vast majority of them traveling by car. Connecticut State Troopers want to remind motorists to expect heavy traffic, exercise caution, allow extra time to reach their destination, don’t text and drive, set GPS destinations prior to traveling, and use a hands-free device when talking on your cellphone/mobile device while operating a vehicle.

Connecticut State Troopers will be concentrating their enforcement efforts on drunk driving, speeding, seatbelt violations, and distracted driving during the entire Labor Day weekend Sept. 1-5. These dangerous driving behaviors claim the lives of our residents every year.

Troopers will utilize both traditional and nontraditional state police vehicles on the roads searching for reckless and intoxicated drivers. Troopers will man sobriety checkpoints, increase roving patrols and utilize the State Police Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit (BAT Mobile).

Enforcement efforts by Connecticut State Troopers will continue into the next week as more than half-a-million children continue to return to school across Connecticut, with many of those children typically walking or riding the bus to school.

Troopers remind all drivers to be especially vigilant watching for pedestrians during the before- and after-school hours. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous for walking children — over the last decade nationally, nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 and 7 p.m.

Under Connecticut state law, it is mandatory that drivers stop for school buses that have their flashing red warning lights activated, whether they are approaching or following the school bus. Failure to obey this law not only puts our children at great risk, but it carries a hefty penalty for drivers. Fines for passing a school bus that has its flashing red warning lights activated start at $465 for a first offense.

A final reminder to all drivers: anyone who consumes alcohol should never get behind the wheel; establish a designated driver before your holiday weekend activities begin. There are no second chances for first time offenders. On a first offense an Ignition Interlock Device can be installed on your vehicle if you are arrested for DWI and your driver’s license is suspended.

If you see a suspected drunk driver, or hazardous driver, call 911 as this is a true emergency.

During the 2016 Labor Day weekend, Connecticut State Police issued 1,699 tickets for speeding, 165 for seatbelt violations, 3,552 tickets for moving violations and made 51 arrests for driving under the influence. State Police investigated 283 motor vehicle crashes, 43 with injury, and 0 fatal motor vehicle accidents.