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Betts: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council is sponsoring a “Take Back Your Drive Pledge.”

An estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phones, according to the National Safety Council, and 34 percent of teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving; 52 percent have said they have talked on the phone. 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for each subsequent violation. Connecticut has also implemented a first-in-the-nation system that allows offenses to affect a violator’s car insurance premium.

Expect that police departments in our area will be cracking down on drivers endangering public safety this month. Extra patrols, spotters, and stationary police vehicles will be prominently placed throughout our town, and the state.

Please do not drive distracted – not this month, not ever. It is unsafe and endangers both fellow motorists and pedestrians.

 

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