Fairfield - State Senator Tony Hwang (28th) and State Representatives Laura Devlin (134th) and Brian Farnen (132nd) joined the Fairfield Police and CT State Police along with national experts on the dangers of Distracted Driving at Fairfield Police’s Headquarters on Monday, August 3 to announce the State of Connecticut’s “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” Distracted Driving Enforcement and Checkpoint Program which will run all month long.
In support of August as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Fairfield Police and CT State Police have partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31. The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” enforcement campaign will serve to step up enforcement efforts to catch distracted and texting drivers and enforce distracted-driving laws.
Senator Hwang in his introduction said, “Distracted driving accidents are preventable tragedies. It is a national epidemic with over 3,150 dying annually in vehicle crashes due to distracted driving and 1 in 4 probability that a vehicle crash involves a cell phone. Most of us are guilty of peeking at our phone and typing a quick text while we are driving. We think that a few seconds won’t be dangerous and nothing will happen. Unfortunately a few distracted seconds could forever change your life and possibly the lives of innocent victims and their families. Traffic and public safety is paramount and the recent tragic incidents of vehicle-pedestrian accidents heightens the need for increased enforcement and awareness. It is all about saving lives.”
“Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation's roads,” Fairfield Police Chief Chris Lyddy said. “Passing laws to limit distracted driving is a crucial first step, but drivers must know that these laws will be enforced by police, not only for their protection, but for the protection of other drivers as well.”
The Fairfield Police Department and the CT Department of Transportation urge all drivers to put their phones down when they get behind the wheel. If any driver needs to text, it is recommended to pull over and park in a safe place first.
Fairfield Police remind drivers of the following:
- Texting and driving is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you are a danger to everyone around you.
- No one likes to be criticized by a friend for doing something wrong, but it’s even worse to get caught by law enforcement and have to pay a fine.
- Don’t follow the pack, be a leader. When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away.
- Speak up. If your friends are texting while driving, tell them to stop. Listen to your passengers; if they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.
"This campaign is a crucial step in protecting the lives of our drivers and pedestrians," Rep. Devlin said. "We should all consider these facts and statistics when we get behind the wheel, not just in the month of August but every single day. We need to work together to remind each other the dangers of texting and driving, and start by not doing it ourselves. Promoting awareness and making this choice individually will create a culture where distracted driving is not tolerated which will literally save lives."
"Far too many drivers on our roads are distracted and many are unsafely texting and driving. We need to remind drivers that distracted driving is against the law," said Rep. Farnen. "Since COVID hit, many residents that have been stuck indoors and they are taking walks outside because the activity permits people to be socially distant and still enjoy the outdoors and remain physically fit. Drivers need to be more vigilant than ever with more people out walking on our roads.”
The awareness initiative will continue next week when Senator Hwang will also host a “Distracted Driving Awareness and Pedestrian and Bike Safety Informational Town Hall" on Tuesday, August 11 at 7:00pm via Facebook Live to allow residents to voice their concerns and share helpful tips on sharing the roads. You can participate in the discussion by registering via www.SenatorHwang.com.
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/2C9pZBcX6lo