HARTFORD — State and Hartford-area police are bolstering patrols this week to look for distracted drivers as part of a federal pilot program.
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and police officials announced the fourth and final enforcement wave of the program at a Capitol news conference yesterday. Police are looking for drivers talking and texting on cellphones and engaged in other distracting activities through Friday, in a campaign called “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other.’’
Police in the Hartford and Syracuse, N.Y., areas were chosen to participate in the initiative, which federal officials plan to use to create a national program. Police in Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford issued about 6,900 citations for talking on cellphones and 348 citations for texting during the first three waves that began last year.
It is illegal in Connecticut to use cellphones without hands-free devices while driving.
About 5,500 people in the United States die in crashes reported to involve distracted driving each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.