Driving distracted? You're less likely to be caught if you use a cell phone while driving in Stamford, according to aggregate car accident and citation indexes dating back to 2006.
Despite having a law on the books prohibiting distracted driving, recently released numbers show that fewer tickets are issued in Stamford, primarily because the city has a shortage of manpower within the police department. That's all about to change, though. Officers have started a blitz of ticket writing designed to stop distracted drivers in their tracks.
To combat the increasing problem, Stamford police officials have introduced a new initiative for their patrol officers that require them to crack down on dangerous driving behavior. That includes speeding, cell phone use, driving drunk and other traffic violations. Officers report that the initiative seems to be successful so far, saying that they have increased the number of traffic stops. Additional criminal arrests have also come from the increased number of vehicle stops.
Officers say that they want to change the way people drive within Stamford city limits. New training courses are preparing patrol officers for specific enforcement tasks, according to city representatives, which have increased driver safety and resident satisfaction. Distracted driving has been emphasized because it is playing an increasing role in road fatalities throughout the nation.
Stamford city officials say that residents have had a huge impact on the department's decision to crack down on distracted drivers. Many vehicle operators complain that they don't feel safe while driving because other people are using their phones. People on cell phones don't notice pedestrians as often, they say, which makes several intersections in the city particularly dangerous for those on foot.
Source: Connecticut Post, "Distracted driving enforcement lags in Stamford," March 25, 2012