HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– State police want you to know “you text, you drive, you pay!” It’s a new campaign to stop distracted driving and it kicked off Wednesday.
News 8’s Bob Wilson patroled with trooper Christopher Meiers in an unmarked car. It’s the first day of the new, “you text, you drive, you pay campaign”. An effort to get people to focus on the road, not the phone. The signs are everywhere and so are the texters. Within a few minutes state police have found two drivers they say were texting on I-84.
Trooper Meiers says driving while texting is dangerous, especially during rush hour, it causes accidents. But cell phones have become a part of our lives and people just don’t think about it.
“It’s a good thing I’m not saying it isn’t, it’s dangerous even if you are plugged in with a cell phone, you are not concentrating on the road, so it’s a good idea. But at the same time you are just trying to communicate quick,” said Traci.
State police say they are not only looking for texters but if you are talking on the phone as well you can get pulled over. They say that when you text or use your phone, it looks very similar to a drunk driver.
“You are taking your eyes off the road so you get the same things like you do for of drunk drivers. They will swerve from one lane to another or into the lane next to them. The slowing down, the speeding up,” said Meiers.
The first offense is $150 for texting or talking, second time goes to $300 and then to $500 and believe it or not it happens.
“I have seen people who have already been cited three times who have three tickets over a couple of years and that is why they have increased the fines. People don’t get it. Unless you hit someone in the pocket a lot of times they don’t pay attention it doesn’t hit home,” said Meiers.