The National Safety Council has declared April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time for everyone to redouble their efforts to keep the road safe by keeping cellphones out of their hands while driving. To do their part in this national effort, Connecticut State police departments and law enforcement officials have vowed to crackdown on distracted driving habits. They will begin their campaign by setting up checkpoints throughout the state to catch people “red handed” in the act of using a cellphone behind the wheel.
In Connecticut, it is strictly illegal to use any sort of distracting electronic device while driving. In 2015, more than 20,000 citations were given for this particular moving violation in Connecticut alone. Fines for the ticket start at $150 for first-offenses and can range up to $500 for multiple counts. Repeat offenders could also face further administrative penalties controlled by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). During a similar campaign last year, police officers used every trick in the book to catch texting and driving individuals, including dressing up as commonplace utility workers doing roadside tasks.
Is the Crackdown Necessary?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 3,000 people lose their lives in car accidents caused by distracted drivers each year, and another 400,000+ are injured. The Connecticut police departments are simply trying to help protect the average motorist by catching more people with a cellphone in their hand.
Of course, as there is with any sort of law enforcement crackdown, there is always the chance that overzealous officers can spot problems where none exist. It is important for highway patrol officers to balance proactive protection with fair and mindful enforcement practices.
If you have been handed a traffic offense ticket that you believe is undue or unjust, you can rely on Carlson & Dumeer, LLC to protect your rights and driving privilege. Contact us by calling toll-free (877) 795-5594 and you can set up a free initial consultation with our Hartford criminal defense attorneys.