Hamden PD to use part of $80K in grants to tackle distracted driving

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hamden police plan to use part of its more than $80,000 in grant money to tackle distracted driving in the town.

One of the grants, which came from the Connecticut Department of Transportation, will be used by police to continue its already aggressive efforts targeting distracted drivers.

“The main objective of the program is to reduce the amount of accidents and injuries from people using handheld devices,” said Acting Police Chief John Sullivan.

He said the problem of drivers texting and looking at their screens instead of the road continues to be a big one.

“We consider it a 10.”

The state gran, which the department has received for several years now, will foot the bill to staff targeted enforcement operations on the town’s more heavily traveled streets.

“What we do is we have an officer set up in plain clothes as a spotter, and then down the street, have several officers in uniform that are stopping offenders.”

Hamden also received a $25,000 grant from the United States Justice Department to restore what mother nature has literally blown away.

Recent storms in Hamden have been powerful enough to rip apart trees and case days of power outages, but they also resulted in the loss of portable signs used by the police departments.

Now, those signs can be replaced at no cost to taxpayers.

“We use those stop signs at intersections where we lose power and we use the cones when we get down power lines and wires,” Sullivan explained. “This is really going to help us keep the town safe when we do get a power outage.”

Fines for distracted driving start at $150 for a first offense and increase from there.

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