NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and police departments across Connecticut will be increasing their enforcement efforts.

In New Haven, there were about 6,000 crashes in 2021. New Haven police believe a good number of those crashes were linked to distracted driving. As part of U Drive. U Text. U. Pay., a national campaign, the city will be cracking down. 

“Our enforcement is being ramped up citywide,” New Haven’s Acting Chief Renee Dominguez said. “You’re going to see more and more of it.”

Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile electronic device while driving. For drivers who are 16 or 17 years old, you can’t use a cellphone at any time, even with hands-free technology.

New Haven police told News 8 that it’s imperative to remain focused while behind the wheel, making the roads safer for everyone.

“I ask you to do it yourself,” New Haven police Lt. Stephan Torquati said. “Take a look at any intersection, and see how many people are on their phone or being distracted by something other than their phone. It could be a kid in the back of the car, their passengers.”

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Pullover and park somewhere safe to send a message.
  • Assign your passenger as your “designated texter”.
  • Put your cellphone away while you’re driving.

To learn more about the national campaign, click here.