Connecticut Addresses the Distracted Driving Problem
December 08, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day, approximately 1,200 people are injured in car accidents involving distracted driving.
According to the Department of Transportation, distracted driving has become a serious problem in the United States--especially since the proliferation of cellphones. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes, which included texting, talking on a cellphone, eating and drinking and other similar activities.
Transportation agencies are particularly concerned with mobile devices. Texting while driving is a major concern, specifically among inexperienced or younger motorists. The DOT confirms that drivers who use handheld mobile devices are four times more likely to get into a car accident that is serious enough to cause injury.
To help address the issue, some states prohibit the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Furthermore, federal officials report that 39 states have laws that prohibit texting while driving.
To help combat the distracted driving problem, legislators in Connecticut have made it illegal for motorists to use handheld cellphones while driving in the state. Furthermore, the law presumes that one is making a call if the cellphone is near his or her ear. However, an exception to the rule exists for emergency calls.
If a driver is stopped for using a handheld cellphone, the fine is $125 for a first offense, $250 a second offense and $400 for subsequent violations.
Additionally, all Connecticut motorists are prohibited from texting while driving. This includes typing, transmitting or reading a text message with a handheld mobile telephone or mobile electronic device.
If a driver is caught texting while driving, the motorist will be fined $100, $150, and $200 for first, second and third offenses.
Novice drivers (motorists younger than 18) are prohibited from all cellphone use (handheld and hands-free) except in the event of an emergency.
Connecticut's handheld cellphone and texting laws are considered "primary" laws. This means that an officer can pull a motorist over for the offense without having to witness some other moving violation.
While the state has a law in place, officers report that it is difficult to catch motorists that are texting while driving. As a result, the federal government is giving $275,000 to Connecticut for a pilot project, which aims to crack down on people who engage in the practice. The grant will be used to develop and train police officers on methods for identifying texting drivers. Moreover, the funds will also help create media campaigns that alert the public about the dangers of this distracted driving.
If you have been harmed by a negligent or distracted driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney about your recovery options. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you evaluate your case.