Tough laws will give state access to federal funding to combat dangerous driving
Connecticut is the only state that has qualified for federal funds designed to combat the growing problem of distracted driving, according to USA Today. The additional funds, which experts say are exceedingly difficult for states to qualify for, will allow Connecticut to further crackdown on distracted driving. The dangerous behavior has become a growing concern for safety advocates who say that the growing use of smartphones leadings to serious car accidents.
Federal funding program
The federal funding program has been criticized for requiring states to pass a number of restrictions against distracted driving, meaning Connecticut was the only state this year to meet the strict requirements. Those requirements include progressive fines for people with more than one citation and laws against using a cellphone when stopped at a red light.
According to the Hartford Courant, the state used the federal funding for its “U drive. U text. U pay” initiative warning drivers of the dangers of texting and driving. The $2.3 million grant money was also used to increase police enforcement against drivers who use their cellphones while driving.
Talking down, distractions up
According to USA Today, the problem of cellphone use while driving has evolved in recent years. A six-year study has shown that talking on a cellphone while behind the wheel has decreased. Other activities, like checking e-mails and surfing the web, however, have actually increased. The study shows that despite increasing awareness of how dangerous distracted driving is, many car and truck drivers continue to text receiving a fine or, even worse, causing a serious accident.
Connecticut law bans the use of a handheld device while driving, so drivers can be fined regardless of why they were driving with their phones in their hands. While a first offense will lead to a $150 fine, second and third offense will get drivers a $300 and $500 fine respectively.
With tough state laws and increasing public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, motorists no longer have any excuses for reaching for their cellphones when they are behind the wheel. Distracted driving causes countless accidents each year and leads to far too many needless deaths and injuries.
For anybody who has been injured by a distracted or negligent driver, the pain and suffering can exact both a physical and emotional toll. Along with such suffering there are usually medical expenses to contend with and possibly lost income due to time taken off from work. Such injured drivers should get in touch with a personal injury attorney right away to discuss their case. An experienced attorney will be able to offer the advice a client needs when deciding what step to take following a serious car accident.