Norwalk Police To Crack Down On Distracted Driving

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New Canaan, Wilton and Norwalk police will coordinate on a traffic crackdown on Monday.
New Canaan, Wilton and Norwalk police will coordinate on a traffic crackdown on Monday. Photo Credit: File

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Officers will be cracking down on distracted driving habits Monday as the New Canaan, Norwalk and Wilton police departments join forces to coordinate their enforcement.

The "zero tolerance" crackdown on distracted drivers will especially focus on those who text or talk on their cellphones.

Police said distracted driving is the most significant threat to traffic safety in years. Police will work together to make roads safer. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate motorists about the danger it poses and to strictly enforce Connecticut’s distracted driving laws, police said.

Intensive enforcement will occur in each jurisdiction, police said.

This multiagency traffic safety task force will crack down on a motorist who texts or uses a hand-held cellphone while driving. The enforcement is intended to call attention to a law that took effect Oct. 1 that allows reporting of distracted driving offenses to insurance companies and increases fines for texting and using hand-held phones while driving.

According to police, 3,092 people were killed nationwide in 2010 in crashes involving distracted drivers, while an additional 416,000 people were injured in crashes.
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

Police said text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

Headset cellphone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use, police said. 

The law bans handheld cellular telephones or other electronic devices for all drivers. The use of a cellular telephone (handheld and hands-free) is banned for bus drivers and novice drivers, who are under the age of 18 or with a learner's permit. Texting while driving is banned for all drivers. 

The fines are $150 for the first offense, $300 for the second offense and $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

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Comments (6)

Not just the Norwalk Police, also New Canaan police: on their handheld cells regularly while driving their police cars, you can see them often. They do need to exhibit the proper example to our citizens.

The Norwalk Police themselves are the biggest offender of having a phone glues to their ear and texting and driving. Its time this joke of a chief opens his eyes to what a disaster the Norwalk Police Department is. If a cop is on the phone without a hand free or texting while driving he should be fined and fired. Its called leading by example. Also its time the Norwalk chief does something about his officers and their illegal tints on their private cars..

Fines aren't punitive enough for people to stop this potentially deadly practice. Confiscation of the devices might add "teeth" to the crackdown. The police should use unmarked cars outside of the high schools for their first "snags" to target young drivers and discourage them from texting and phoning while driving.

FYI This is America not the old Soviet Union. The police cannot randomly confiscation anything.

Yes. But our lawmakers could put together a bill making that part of the penalty if there were enough public support.

I wonder how the Norwalk Police plan on enforcing this law, as they are one of the biggest offenders I see in my travels around town.
Don't get me wrong, I see plenty of other drivers cruising with their eyes buried in their laps and think such laws should be enforced. but just about every cop I see driving a squad car has one hand plastered to their ear. I understand why they need cell phones to keep in touch but has the department never heard of bluetooth devices or hands-free models?
We do need to come to grips with this technology. NO message, phone call, text, tweet, or Facebook post is that important. We do not need to be hyper-connected with the rest of the planet every second of every day.