Updated: Tuesday, 29 Mar 2011, 2:44 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 28 Mar 2011, 6:11 AM EDT
Hartford, Conn. (WTNH) - Another big crackdown on distracted driving is underway in Connecticut. If you have your cell phone in your hand to talk or text you may end up with a ticket in the other.
When the cell phone law was first passed six years ago it was all about talking. It's still about talking, but now it is also about the thumbs.
News 8's 'Wait to Text' community awareness campaign just began last week. It's now known that texting while driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving.
Beginning Monday, state and local law enforcement throughout Greater Hartford are cracking down, making sure that people keep their eyes on the road, and their hands on the wheel.
There's federal money to help pay for the crackdown, because Connecticut was among the first states to have a law against using a hand held cellphone while driving.
"Using the phone, texting, eating, reading, applying makeup, shaving, there all distractions to a job at hand, that's driving the vehicle safely," Connecticut State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said.
A promotional campaign was kicked off at the State Capitol Monday.
"The same tried and proven principles and methods which were used with the 'click it or ticket' campaign," said Robbin Cabelus, the Governor's highway safety representative.
That campaign resulted in Connecticut going from 59 percent compliance with the seat belt law in 1995, to 88 percent comliance last year.
"My wish, everyday, is that people will read, commit to, and sign the pledge to stop distracted driving and buckle up for safety," said 8-year-old Nina Pezzello from Waterford.
Pezzello is trying to get 5,000 signatures from people pledging not to text while driving.
11-year-old Lynnsey Spader of North Haven has a very personal reason for joining this effort.
"A close friend of mine was killed texting while driving, well, her Mom, and I feel really bad. These things could be preventable if only you put the phone down," Spader said.
It is estimated that approximately 100 people will be killed this week in this country because of distracted driving.
Fines against distracted driving in Connecticut start at $100. It can be a costly lesson.
Learn More: WTNH W82txt Initiative