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.