Westport police are launching an aggressive drive against people who text or talk on cell phones while they drive, armed with a $15,000 enforcement grant.
The local crackdown is planned in conjunction with the state Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office's "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." campaign.
The stepped-up effort to enforce the state's distracted driver law will take place from this Wednesday through Sept. 24. Drivers found in violation of the cell phone/texting law are find $150 for the first offense, $300 for a second violation and $500 for each subsequent violation.
Police Capt. Sam Arciola, the Patrol Division's commander, in a statement on the enforcement campaign, warned: "Dedicated patrols will be watching for violators in Westport, in an effort to enforce Connecticut's zero tolerance for distracted drivers."
The state, through the federal Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Office, was allocated $2.3 million in distracted-driving prevention funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Westport police received a grant for $15,000 for the enforcement campaign. "Our goal will not only be to ticket motorists who disobey Connecticut cell phone laws, but we also hope to save lives by changing people's behavior and deterring this all too common activity" Police Chief Dale Call said in the statement.
For more information about distracted driving, visit www/distraction.gov.