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Connecticut takes aim at curbing drivers' cellphone usage

Many Connecticut residents drive every day. As a result, many regard driving as a fairly routine and mindless task. This notion, however, is alarming given the fact that thousands of Americans are injured or killed in car accidents every day. It's important, therefore, that drivers take steps to reduce distractions while driving and keep their focus and attention on the important task at hand.

When asked, many drivers would likely admit to, at some point, texting or talking on a cellphone while driving. However, the use of cellphones while driving has been linked to countless motor vehicle accidents and triggered a national debate over whether cellphone usage by drivers should be completely outlawed.

While a complete ban on cellphone usage by drivers is considered by many to be the only solution to this growing public safety problem, Connecticut's Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently passed two laws that will hopefully help make Connecticut's roads safer.

Starting Oct. 1, the fines for drivers found texting and driving will increase by $50 per offense. For example, those charged with a first offense of texting while driving will soon be fined $150 rather than $125 and second offense fines will increase from $250 to $300. The governor also passed a bill making the use of handheld devices by drivers illegal. Drivers who choose to talk on a cellphone while driving will therefore be required to use a hands-free device.

Through these efforts, state safety advocates are hopeful that fewer Connecticut residents will be injured or killed in cellphone-related car accidents.

Source: CT Post, "Welcome move for driver safety," July 19, 2013

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