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Why and where we are pulled over

The police and highway patrol and sheriff's department are there to protect and serve the citizens. And it's always reassuring when you see a motorist on the side of the road being helped by an officer of the law. At the same time, drivers' aren't always so happy to see the red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror. It's never fun to get cited for a moving violation, but many of us will get a ticket at least once in our life.

The TrendCT.org web site did some number crunching of 586,000 traffic stops conducted by Connecticut state police and local police between October 2014 and September 2015. The findings are most helpful in seeing why and where drivers were pulled over in Connecticut.

Some general trends
About two-thirds of drivers pulled over were male. More drivers under 30 were pulled over (38 percent) than drivers over 50 (23 percent). Some may be curious as to why people are pulled over. The top three departments where drivers are most likely to be pulled over are Newtown, Ridgefield and Orange. The departments where drivers are least likely to be pulled over are Shelton, Portland and Wolcott.

Below is a general state-wide list of reasons broken down:
Speeding - 26 percent
Cell phone - 10 percent
Registration - 9 percent
Defective lights - 8 percent
Misc. moving violation - 7 percent
Traffic control signal - 7 percent
Stop sign - 6 percent
Seatbelt - 4 percent
Display of plates - 3 percent
Suspended license - 2 percent
All other - 18 percent

Outcome of traffic stop
The biggest number of all stops result in infractions tickets (47 percent) with the second most results being a verbal warning (29 percent). With written warning, misdemeanor summons, vehicle search, arrest and no disposition listed as other outcomes. The big surprise for many is how were so many others lucky enough to get off with a warning when you always seemed to get the ticket.

The upshot
The best way to guarantee that the police will be helping you as opposed to citing you is obeying the rules of the road, written and unwritten. But perhaps the stats above will be insightful in helping to curve urges to rush or be reckless on the road.

Unfortunately others may not be as thoughtful. Reckless driving often eventually leads to accidents. If you feel that the other driver in a collision you were involved in was speeding or was not obeying the laws of the road, it may be a good idea to consult with a lawyer with experience in motor vehicle accidents here in Connecticut. After hearing the details, they may find reason to pursue legal action against a negligent party, whether it's to cover replacement costs of property or medical expenses. Filing a claim won't undo the damage, but it can help victims and their families move forward from a horrifying event like an accident.

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