NEWINGTON, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — State police and more than 50 local police departments in Connecticut have started a crackdown on people using their cell phones.

The “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY” initiative focuses on texting, but police also will be looking for drivers talking on their phones and other distractions, the Connecticut Department of Transportation said.

At the bottom of an I-95 off ramp, Stamford Police issued more than five dozen tickets in about three hours Wednesday, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

“It’s kind of disappointing, it’s more violations than we wrote last year at this location,” Sgt. Andrew Gallagher said. “We were hoping that with the enforcement effort of last year as well as the media campaign underway that people would be more cognizant of enforcement efforts, unfortunately we’re finding that’s not the case.”

The worst violation of the day was a woman driving while eating her oatmeal, Gallagher said.

“Holding the bowl in one hand and spoon in the other as she was driving with her knees down the ramp toward the red light,” Gallagher said.

The state is using a $2.3 million grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pay for the enforcement effort, which will run through the month of April.

Violators face fines of $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second violation and $500 for any additional charges.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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