Seems like a no-brainer and yet, it still happens much too often.

I'd say I don't know how many times you have to be told about the dangers of distracted driving. How many people have to be hurt, or killed, before drivers wake up? Sadly though, the message has to be repeated over and over again.

The Danbury Police Department issued a press release about the continuation of the "U Drive. U Text. U Pay" campaign along with the Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office. And pay you will. Under Connecticut's cell phone and texting law there are hefty fines.

  • $150 for a first offense
  • $300 for a second violation
  • $500 for each subsequent violation

You would think that kind of fine would be enough to stop people. It has, but only to a certain degree. The release says that coming off the first part of the initiative back in April of 2017, there was a 17% drop in mobile phone use by drivers at observation locations where police conducted enforcement. While that's better, the department also said that during that time in April they issued nearly 12,000 citations to drivers who broke Connecticut's distracted driving laws.

Come on, people, get wise. Using your cell phone while driving is dangerous as well as illegal. According to the release, in 2015, 3,477 people were killed and an estimated additional 391,000 nationally, were injured in motor vehicle crashes that involved distracted drivers.

The Danbury Police Department is underway again with the "U Drive. U Text. U Pay" campaign, running until Aug.16, and they are ramping up their efforts by adding special patrols.

For more information about national distracted driving issues, go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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