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Connecticut Cracking Down On Cell Phone Drivers

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HARTFORD, CT (WCBS 880/AP) - Connecticut police are embarking on a crackdown on people who talk on cell phones while driving.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau: It’s A Statewide Effort

It might surprise out-of-staters, but the law has been on the books for six years in Connecticut. But everywhere you go, you can see drivers out on the highways and in local traffic breaking the law, talking or texting on handheld cell phones.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman says all law enforcement statewide will be involved in trying to put a stop to this in the fourth and final two-week crackdown on distracted drivers under a federal pilot program.

“State police, local police, everybody is involved in it this time. Everybody’s gonna be on the lookout for anybody that is talking on a phone or texting,” Wyman told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “There are higher fines that are going to be given out. We’re no longer going to forgive the first time that you’re caught.”

Wyman says that not only are the fines steep, but handheld cell phones can be taken away from a driver who is stopped for using it on the the road.

Connecticut and New York were chosen to participate in the initiative, which federal officials plan to use to create a national program. Since the effort began last year, state police and officers in Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford have issued about 6,900 citations for talking on cell phones and 348 citations for texting.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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