There will be stepped up traffic enforcement starting today and lasting through the weekend in the Greater Danbury area. Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs says seven towns in the region received a grant to crackdown on people violating the cell phone and texting laws.
He says the message is simple: phone in one hand, ticket in another. Officers might be anywhere and the hope is it will appear like they're everywhere. Fuchs says officers will likely observe the violation before drivers see them by using marked and unmarked cars.
Fuchs says sending or reading a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. He says at 55 miles per hour, you can cover a football field and if you're looking down, you're driving blindfolded.
Other than drunk driving, Fuchs says texting while driving is the most dangerous activity a motorist can do.
Fuchs cited studies showing that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a serious crash. In 2011, more than 3,000 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. 387,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
The area towns are also using the week to study their ability to adequately enforce the laws. The enforcement effort lasts through next Wednesday.