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.