“U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign cracks down on distracted driving in Hamden

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Hannah Mirsky, Executive Producer

Hamden Police Department is cracking down on texting and driving for the entire month of April with the campaign “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

Police will patrol Hamden, especially streets such as Sherman and Whitney avenue. where a lot of Quinnipiac students drive on to get to and from class, to ensure Hamden residents and Quinnipiac students are not driving distracted.

“I really think that it’s a good thing in the community and especially because Hamden and New Haven have a lot of colleges so I feel like that is something that is something they should really be cracking down on,” first-year student Isabella Ulrich said.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office is also supporting the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national high-visibility campaign to combat distracted driving and staying safe behind the wheel.

The Hamden Police Department released a press release on Wednesday, March 31, about insisting that drivers park safely if it is an urgent call.

“The Hamden Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Transportation strongly urge motorists to stay off of their cell phone when getting behind the wheel. If it’s necessary to talk on the phone or text, please park your motor vehicle in a safe location,” the statement read.

First-year student Alexandra Mastricova, said Quinnipiac students and around the country need to pay attention to this campaign because she was almost hit by a student who was pulling out of the York Hill parking garage while texting and driving earlier in the day.

“I think it’s really important, I actually almost got hit by a car today because she was on her phone,” Mastricova said.

In 2019, the NHTSA said 3,142 lives were taken from distracted driving, which is 8.7% of all fatalities taken place that year. That is a 9.9% increase from the 2,858 lives taken in 2018.

“I feel like it is morally wrong to text and drive because you aren’t only putting your life at risk but other people’s as well,” Ulrich said.

Fines for the violations will begin with $150 for the first offense, $300 for the second and $500 for repeating offenses.

Texting and driving is against Connecticut state law. Answering a text or a call while driving is not worth your’s or someone else’s life. For more information on the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” campaign, go to www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving.