Cellphone use while driving targeted by police thru Sept. 24

Bristol police have announced that they will be cracking down on districted driving starting tomorrow until Sept. 24.

Bristol police said the local department and law enforcement agencies across the state are joining with the state Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office to kick-off an Anti-Texting Enforcement Project. The project “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” will strictly enforce Connecticut’s law that prohibits motorist from texting and/or using hand-held cell phones while driving, said a press release from the police.

The crackdown will run from Wednesday, Sept. 3, through Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Connecticut has received federal funds that are being utilized to curb this unsafe driving behavior, explained the press release from the Bristol police. Law enforcement patrols in Bristol will target motorists who chose to ignore Connecticut’s hand held mobile phone ban, said the news release. The fines range from $150 for the first offense, $300 for the second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

“Our goal is simple. We want to save lives by enforcing Connecticut’s tough penalties for distracted driving, namely texting while driving. During 2011, more than 3,300 people were killed across the nation in crashes involving distracted drivers,” said the Bristol police press release.

While the focused enforcement mobilization will end on Sept. 24, the news release said Bristol officers will continue to enforce Connecticut’s hand held mobile phone ban throughout the year.

“Law enforcement’s goal, with your help is to make Connecticut a safe place to live and travel,” said the press release.