Distracted Driver

News item:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is announcing twin pilot programs for New York state and Connecticut to crack down on drivers texting and talking on cell phones.

The programs announced Thursday for Hartford, Conn., and Syracuse, N.Y., are modeled after previous efforts to promote seat belts and curb drunk driving. Each city gets a $200,000 federal grant matched by $100,000 from the state.

The first police crackdowns will occur in Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford between April 10-16.

So I’m driving to work, and the electronic message sign on the highway says something like “Phone in one hand, ticket in the other.”  (For the record, I think this is a great idea.)

The next thing I know, a State Trooper was passing me in a Crown Vic.  His laptop was on and up.

He was looking at it.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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13 Responses to Distracted Driver

  1. Very good Gerry. Here I thought you were going to get in trouble for reading the electronic sign!

  2. rick says:

    Police and cellphones. It almost rivals doughnuts!

  3. RJM says:

    You have to love when you see them on their cellphones too! Too good for the crackdown???

  4. Jerry says:

    And he wasn’t on the phone also?

  5. James says:

    I find it ironic that they’ve added texting to the cell phone law, as the police don’t enforce the hands-free statute now. And just yesterday, while riding my motorcycle in the center of Litchfield, I hesitated to move forward at a stop sign because the movements of an unmarked State Police car were sending all the wrong vibes.

    A few seconds later the car turned left in front of me and, yes, the trooper had his cell phone up to his ear – and never saw me. Had I started up, I’d be writing this from a hospital bed.

    We don’t need more laws, we just need to enforce the ones we already have.

  6. Melissa says:

    School bus drivers do it too. I have seen a few in the waterbury area.

  7. Kathryn D. says:

    It is about time! Distracted drivers are a complete menace on the road. Not only to other drivers, but I am a walker and a bicycle rider…it is very scary…it seems that drivers do not see me. The cell phone law went into effect on 10/1/2005. It should have been fully enforced since then. I have also seen school bus drivers texting and talking on their phones. To me that is most unacceptable. I hope the State of Connecticut can collect alot of revenue from this so called “stepped up” enforcement.

  8. Crie says:

    The police do what they want to do,and civilians have to obey all laws. If a police officer or a state trooper hits you because they are on there lap top or cell phone, make sure you get a lawyer because they protect each other so we have to protect areselves as civilians. Put the ear piece in your ear and be careful. We are people and we do what we want to do. When the police get tired of watching us to see if we’re on the phone the phone it will go back to the way it has been.

  9. Pat says:

    It’s all about the money. Initiate a “crackdown” on phone use, seat belt checks, matching socks checks it doesn’t matter. In the end this accomplishes two things:

    1. More federal grant money
    2. see #1

    Whatever it brings in in terms of fines will be spent ten times over in overtime and other unknown costs.

    It does nothing, absolutely nothing for public safety. It might make a few simple minded people feel good for a day or two, but that’s all.

    What really needs to happen is for this entire cellphone / texting while driving business to be rethinked and treated for the mental illness or addiction that it has become.

  10. Wendy says:

    In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, and I quote: “Arrghhhh” !!! Is this the time one could make a citizen’s arrest?

  11. Lacey says:

    Seeing that gets me every time. It’s especially nerve-wracking when i see the state troopers doing it in the fast lane while tailgating. Yes, there is always the possibility that they are checking license plates, but do they really need to be kissing the bumper at the same time? I am glad to have read this piece though, Gerry, because i have become frustrated also at witnessing countless drivers passing police while talking on their cell phones, and even reading a newspaper! Along with that, i’ve heard rumors of the state considering upping the speed limit to 70mph?? I can’t wait to be able to run on safer, enforced roads.

  12. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    Hey, what’s the beef? As long as somebody obeys traffic laws, what does it matter what else he does while driving?

  13. Kevin says:

    I’m for it as long as I can still eat one of them 99 cent burgers on the rood without getting pulled over.

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