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Two safe-driving campaigns launched in Connecticut

Even though we refer to highway fatalities as “accidents,” in many cases they are a result of deliberate behavior so they really aren’t accidents at all. For example, speeding and distracted driving are two deliberate behaviors that are responsible for far too many fatal car accidents in Connecticut each year.

When drivers engage in dangerous behavior such as speeding or texting while driving and then cause a serious accident, they can face both criminal and civil liability.

In effort to prevent these accidents, the state Department of Transportation is spending $3.5 million to fund two safe-driving campaigns in Connecticut. The first targets speeding in rural parts of the state and is called “When Speeding Kills, It’s Never an Accident.” 

The commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation said the goal is to stop this “deliberate behavior” that claims too many lives each year. More than 100 towns that qualify as having high risk rural roads will receive funding for additional speed limit enforcement and new equipment.

The second safe-driving campaign targets texting while driving and is called: “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” Its goal will be to promote and enforce the state law that prohibits using a hand-held cell phone and other electronic devices while driving except in cases of an emergency.

 “Our goal will not only be to ticket motorists who disobey Connecticut Statute, we also hope to save lives by changing people’s behavior and deterring this all too common activity,” said a North Haven Police spokesman in a press release.

North Haven is one of 24 towns that are taking part in the DOT Highway Safety Office’s distracted driving campaign. There is currently a push to get New Haven and Hartford to join as well, the DOT’s campaign manager said.

State law enforcement said the campaigns will first be advertised on billboards, radio stations and websites in order to raise awareness. The second phase will be to enforce the laws against speeding and texting while driving by issuing tickets to drivers.

Source: The New Haven Register, “Connecticut gets $3.5 million from feds to crack down on distracted driving, speeding,” Mercy A. Quaye, Aug. 29, 2014

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