Bristol police crack down on texting and driving

During the month of August, the Bristol Police Department and law enforcement officers statewide will use a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive.
According to a press release from the Bristol Police Department, this effort is part of a larger campaign by the CT Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to crackdown on drivers who text, talk or otherwise distract themselves from the task of driving.
The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign is national in scope and includes 50 law enforcement agencies from Connecticut, the release said. Officers will be out in force looking to identify, stop, and cite drivers who choose to ignore the state’s hand-held mobile phone ban and distracted driving laws, the release said.
Fines include $150 for the first offense, $300 for the second violation and $500 for each subsequent violation, the release said.
According to the release, latest data from NHTSA shows that 3,154 people were killed and an estimated 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers nationwide in 2013.
According to surveys conducted before and after April’s crackdown, there was an 8 percent drop in mobile phone use by drivers where police previously conducted enforcement, the release said.
Although the focused enforcement mobilization will end Aug. 16, Bristol police said in the release that officers will continue to enforce the state’s hand held mobile phone ban throughout the year.