Police ticket 159 this year for distracted driving

Federally funded crackdowns against distracted driving, including texting, netted Wilton Police 159 tickets this year, compared with 157 in 2016.

The enforcement was carried out in four weeks, split between April and August.

Texting while driving brought in 18 tickets, while talking on a cell phone was a more common offense, with 89 tickets. Thirty-nine tickets went to general distracted-driving behavior, while 13 tickets went to other violations like failure to wear a seatbelt.

The next crackdown is scheduled for April 2018, said Capt. Robert Cipolla, spokesman for the department.

He said the number of people ticketed for these violations shows that the problem remains.

“While we are pleased with the enforcement totals, the amount of infractions issued speaks to the fact that motor vehicle operators engaging in distracted-driving behaviors such as talking on the phone or texting remains an issue,” Cipolla said. “We urge the public to think twice before engaging in one of these behaviors while operating a motor vehicle so that we can achieve the goal of keeping our roads safe for everyone.”

The State Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety receives federal funds it distributes to local municipalities. The funds are used to reimburse 75% of officer pay for hours worked on these crackdowns.

Wilton officers spent 255 hours total watching for the behaviors.

Under the law, the ticket for a first offense is $150. The second is $300 and the third is $500 or more.

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  • Mark Brisson

    Texting is not just a “teen” problem. There are millions of employees who seek to do work while behind the wheel. Fleet vehicles/company cars are on the road more than teen drivers. They “multi-task” becoming very distracted. nnThe State wants to increase fees and fines, but there is a tech way to stop these distraction. There are apps to block you using your phone when you drive. AT&T DriveMode is one example and it is FREE! nnOne area that is rarely discussed is that Connecticut has hundreds of State vehicles that inspectors, regulators and the agricultural department use as fleet vehicles, but they do not have the technology to diminish distracted driving. I would love to see one state lead by example and use a program, like FleetMode, to block texts, redirect incoming phone calls, and impede all other apps in the State vehicles. If we want our state roads to be safer, letu2019s start by making our state vehicles safer.

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