Police crackdown on distracted driving

DANBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Across the state, law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement of distracted driving laws as part of a crackdown they’re calling “phone in one hand, ticket in the other.”

“Operating a cell phone while driving is inherently dangerous,” says state police Sgt. Jared Cockfield. “And it’s a choice that’s being made by hundreds of motorists that has real consequences.”

On Friday, police set up a checkpoint in Danbury. In the hour or so that News 8 was there, about a dozen drivers were directed to pull over. A ticket for distracted driving can cost you as much as $500. But that’s not why police are looking for it.

“Not only are you putting yourself in danger, but you’re putting the general public in danger also,” Cockfield said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 420,000 people were injured in crashes that involved distracted driving in 2012. At any given moment, 660,000 U.S. drivers are using cell phones or other devices behind the wheel.

And a quarter of teens respond to a text at least once every time they drive.

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