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Residents of Connecticut subject to new texting and driving laws

With the advent of technology, its impact has been hugely felt in driver negligence. The state of Connecticut, with over two and a half million active drivers, has felt the repercussions.

Distracted driving causes casualties on the road. Cellphone infractions numbered in excess of 32,000 in the Constitution state, increasing state revenue by more than $2 million. Of the more than 400,000 tickets issued in 2013, eight percent involved the use of cell phones. That translates into roughly one for every 77 drivers.

Data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicated some marked trends. Numbers indicate men receive more tickets than women, and out of 16,000 tickets, with 84 percent given to Caucasian. This is no surprise since Caucasians make up exactly that percentage of the population in Connecticut. Meanwhile, some data indicates racial unknowns so racial makeup may not be considered valid. Some counties could not be measured as their data was unavailable. Record-keeping does not distinguish between talking and texting.

The rules of the road in Connecticut forbid the use of any type of electronic devices while driving except in emergency situations. This has recently been updated to include texting or checking one's phone while stopped at a red light.

According to reports there are over 600,000 drivers using devices while driving, resulting in over 400,000 injuries. The law pertaining to distracted drivers was amended in 2010 to include texting. Regardless, a spokesperson of the state department of transportation confirms that the number of cellphone-related roadway accidents is grossly under-reported. They estimate the number of fatalities to be related to excessive speed, alcohol, and drugs or medication.

Officers on the state's roads claim that distracted driving contributes to a huge number of highway fatalities. While citations are written for texting and driving, such records are hard to track since many motorists go to court and contest the ticket or go to traffic school, which expunges it from their driving record.

Texting and driving in Connecticut can cost up to $400, depending if it has been a repeat offense. If you have been involved in a car crashresulting from the negligence of a distracted driver, it is in your best interest to contact a person who can advocate for your rights under state law. Seek help as soon as possible to be properly informed of your right to medical attention and protection under the rules of the road in Connecticut.

Source: Source: Middletown Press, "Connecticut cops have no hang-ups about issuing tickets for cellphone use," Viktoria Sundqvist, July 9, 2014

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