Distracted driving push in Stamford to begin again

August 2, 2018 GMT

STAMFORD — City police are again ramping up efforts to catch distracted drivers.

For the next two weeks, Stamford police will participate in the nationwide U Drive, U Text, U Pay campaign.

“Our officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is endangering the public due to texting and driving, Assistant Police Chief Tom Wuennemann said.

During the first wave of this campaign in April, more than 10,000 citations were issued statewide to distracted motorists. About 600 of those were issued in Stamford, said officer Jeffrey Booth, of the department’s Collision Analysis and Reconstruction squad.

Stamford police plan to add special patrols aimed at catching distracted drivers during the new wave of the campaign, which runs until Aug. 15.

The special patrols will be funded by Connecticut’s distracted driving prevention funds. Connecticut qualifies for this federal funding through a mix of tough laws and a proven track record for enforcing distracted driving laws.

More than $9.1 million has been awarded to the state over the last three years to fund these type of campaigns.

Under Connecticut’s cellphone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

In 2016, there were 3,450 distracted driving related deaths in the United States. There were an estimated 391,000 injured in distracted driving motor vehicle crashes nationwide in 2015.