Connecticut launches crackdown on distracted driving

Police across Connecticut are cracking down on distracted driving as part of a new initiative.

The campaign, called "U Drive U Text U Pay," began Wednesday and will continue through August 15. It is the second statewide crackdown this year to fight distracted driving, which accounts for 3,400 deaths a year nationwide.

State funding allows police departments to pay for extra traffic enforcement shifts during the zero-tolerance two-week period.

Authorities remind drivers that hand-held cell phones or mobile electronic devices may not be used while operating a motor vehicle in Connecticut.

The state has prohibited all drivers from using hand-held cell phones, though adult drivers are allowed to use hands-free cell phones.

Drivers under the age of 18, however, are prohibiting from using even hands-free phones. In addition, novice drivers are prohibited from using any other electronic device while behind the wheel.

Texting while driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and as a result, all drivers -- including adult, novice and school bus drivers -- are prohibited from texting while driving.

School bus drivers are prohibited from using both hand-held and hands-free devices, except in emergencies.

And the crackdown isn't just for phone-related offenses. Putting on makeup, eating or even fiddling with the radio could all be grounds for a traffic stop.

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trafficdistracted drivingtexting while drivingdrivingpoliceConnecticutFairfield
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