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Stamford Police Cracking Down On Distracted Driving

The Stamford Police Department will be on the lookout for distracted drivers.
The Stamford Police Department will be on the lookout for distracted drivers. Photo Credit: USDOTNHTSA YouTube screenshot
This National Highway Traffic Safety Administration video dramatically shows potential consequences of distracted driving.
This National Highway Traffic Safety Administration video dramatically shows potential consequences of distracted driving. Video Credit: USDOTNHTSA YouTube

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Stamford Police Department is going to have special patrols out, looking for distracted drivers -- especially those on their phones.

One goal of the "U Text. U Drive. U Pay." campaign is to reinforce that phone use while driving is both illegal and dangerous. "Everyone thinks they can do it, that a crash won't happen to them," Sgt. Andrew Gallagher said. "Sadly, we see it every day and it can and does happen."

Nationwide, in 2014, 3,129 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, and over 400,000 were injured.

In the last such crackdown, this spring, law enforcement across the state issued over 12,000 citations. Fines for texting and driving are $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $500 for each subsequent one.

"Unfortunately, the fear of a getting a ticket is the only proven incentive for people to change their behavior," Gallagher said.

In a two-hour window of targeted enforcement during rush hour Tuesday evening, three Stamford officers and a spotter wrote 10 cell phone and two texting-while-driving violations.

This enforcement campaign will run until Tuesday, Aug. 16.

The federal government's website on distracted driving -- distraction.gov -- has information for teens, parents, educators and more.

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