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Rep. Scribner Pushes for Safer Roads, Harsher Consequences for Distracted Drivers

Rep. Scribner is pushing for safer Connecticut roads as he speaks out in favor of a proposal to increase fines for distracted drivers.

Yesterday State Rep. David Scribner (R-107) pushed for safer Connecticut roads as he spoke out in favor of a proposal to increase fines for distracted drivers.

House Bill 5248, which was first introduced by Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151), seeks to increase the fine for a first distracted driving violation from $100 to $150; a second violation from $150 to $300; and a third violation from $200 to $500.

Distracted driving is defined by the illegal use of a mobile telephone or other electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.

“I think we can all agree that no phone call or text message is worth ending someone’s life,” said Rep. Scribner, the Ranking Member and longest serving leader on the Transportation Committee and Transportation Bonding Subcommittee. “This proposal aims to improve public safety by providing law enforcement officials a stronger mechanism to prevent and address violations.”

He added “In many ways distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving as it draws the driver’s eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. We need to take steps to foster a culture of intolerance for distracted driving and an awareness for the sobering dangers it poses to our families.”

The bill was prompted by the tragic death of a Norwalk man who was struck and killed by a driver who was surfing the internet on their smart phone while driving.

The Transportation Committee public hearing began at 10:00am in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford and drew dozens of residents to speak on the measure over the course of several hours. Dept. of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker and Dept. of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Melody Currey were among state leaders who weighed in on this and other transportation-related proposals.

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Rosie O'Grady February 06, 2013 at 09:07 PM
The National Safety Council announced Tuesday its new findings that 1.6 million accidents a year are caused by cell phone use – a number that increases by more than a million earlier official estimates, and gives new fodder to a growing, nationwide anti-distracted driving movement. According to the organization, 1.4 million crashes are caused by people talking on the phone while driving. Another 200,000 – at least – are caused by drivers texting behind the wheel. “This number is huge,” says David Teater, senior director of transportation strategic initiatives at the National Safety Council, whose 12-year-old son was killed in a crash caused by a driver on a cell phone. “One out of every four car crashes in the United States is caused by cell phone distraction.”
Spanky Dorise February 06, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Why are only cell phones being targeted? As said in the article, "Distracted driving is defined by the illegal use of a mobile telephone or other electronic device while operating a motor vehicle." Last i checked, anything you eat or drink isn't or at least shouldnt be a cellular or electronic device. A 2009 study commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 80% of all traffic accidents are caused by drivers who are eating. I dont see a ban on drive thru's at dunkin or mcdonalds
Rob Gianazza February 06, 2013 at 11:31 PM
I would like to see stiffer penalties for driving un-registered vehicles and driving either without a license or with a suspended license. It seems that too many of the recent reported traffic stops include improperly registered vehicles or improperly licensed drivers.
Wondering February 07, 2013 at 11:54 PM
I don't know about you but I was taught to drive with both hands on the wheel. I have no problem with requiring the police to follow the same rules. They should not be exempted. I would pay for their vehicles to be equipped with the same bluetooth devices that was in the Corolla that I just rented. Should we protect those that protect us?
Wondering February 07, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Those too. But let's not let perfection get in the way of better.

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