WESTPORT, Conn. – The Westport Police Department has expanded its efforts to stop motorists from texting, talking, or otherwise driving in a distracted manner due to the use of a hand-held mobile phone.
The program, held in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is called “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.”
Westport is adding special patrols designed to catch distracted drivers, especially those using hand-held mobile phones.
“Driving and texting is illegal and irresponsible. People who break our State’s texting law will be stopped and fined. If you drive and text, you will pay,” said Capt. Sam Arciola in a press release.
“For those who say that driving and texting is an epidemic, we believe enforcement of our hand-held mobile phone ban law is part of the cure.”
State law calls for fines ranging from $150 to $500, depending upon whether the person has been cited multiple times for improper cell phone use while driving.
“Texting and driving requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving,” Arciola said.
“It creates the proverbial ‘perfect storm’ for a crash, and no one has the right to put another person’s life at risk like that.”
Connecticut is still the sole state in the entire nation to receive special funding for distracted driving prevention, according to the press release.
In the last two years, the state has received more than $4.6 million to fund initiatives such as “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.”
“It’s not that complicated: if you text and drive, we will see you, pull you over, and fine you," Arciola said.
“We’re serious about enforcing texting laws."
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