Westport police to start distracted driving campaign

The Westport Police Department is participating in the Connecticut Department of Transportation's distracted driving enforcement campaign, which starts Oct. 15, 2021.

The Westport Police Department is participating in the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s distracted driving enforcement campaign, which starts Oct. 15, 2021.

John Davenport / San Antonio Express-News

WESTPORT — The Westport Police Department is participating in the state Department of Transportation’s distracted driving enforcement campaign, which starts Friday and runs until Oct. 31.

According to a news release from police, “distracted driving is an activity that diverts attention from driving. Not surprisingly, texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions. Sending or reading a text takes one’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds and at 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.”

In Connecticut in 2019, more than 6,600 crashes were attributed to distracted driving, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that between 2012 and 2019, 26,004 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.

Drivers who are ticketed for distracted driving are fined $200 for the first offense, $375 for the second offense, and $625 for the third and subsequent offenses.

“The Connecticut Department of Transportation along with the Westport police urges you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel,” the release read. “Should you need to use your phone prior to reaching your destination, please pull over to a safe location first.”