Fairfield Police to launch crackdown on distracted driving

Fairfield Police are launching a proactive approach to combat distracted driving called, “Drive Hands Free or Pay the Fee.”

Police said the campaign intended to educate the public of the dangers of being distracted while operating a motor vehicle will be conducted for one week, July 30 to Aug. 5.

Distracted driving violations will be strictly enforced under a zero tolerance policy, police said.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from any person, which limits their ability to drive safely. All distractions, such as using a cell phone, eating, texting, and reading a map etc. endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety as a whole, police said.

Fairfield Police cited a March accident in which a New Canaan teen was allegedly using a cell phone when she struck and killed a 44-year-old Norwalk man who was jogging on New Canaan Avenue in Norwalk.

In 2010, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Statistics also show drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to Fairfield Police.

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