Our View: Drunks and distracted drivers make for hazardous highways

Published on Sunday, 26 November 2017 19:39
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Have you ever sat in your own living room - maybe right after Thanksgiving dinner - frustrated because all the people around you are staring at their phones?

You’re not alone. It’s a common occurrence, even in the most devoted of families.

Now picture an entire highway, with these same people behind the wheel. How likely is it that their phone is safely tucked away, out of sight and out of reach?

It’s not an idle question, even though most of us avoided problems during the weekend just past.

Some were not so lucky. Since the start of the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday until they released results on Saturday, Connecticut State Police handed out nearly 2,000 tickets. More than half of the infractions (1,298) relate to hazardous driving like unsafe lane changes, following too closely, use of cell phones, texting and failing to signal.

Sure, there were the usual speeders. The second most tickets handed out were for speeding violations (580).

And, sadly, two people were killed, one in Killingly on Thursday and one in Cromwell on. Police also investigated 333 accidents, 48 of which included injuries. Of course, as of this writing, not everyone has made it home from Grandma’s house, though we do seem to have lucked out on the weather.

The point, however, is we see these numbers only on holiday weekends, largely because the state police and others step up enforcement on these days, with troopers targeting aggressive and drunken drivers during the campaign. As of 8 a.m. Saturday, 34 drivers have been charged with DUI.

So here’s our question: Who’s watching them - and stopping them - the rest of the year?

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Sunday, 26 November 2017 19:39. Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2017 19:41.