State police from throughout New England ramped up traffic enforcement on two major highways last week, yielding almost 900 speeding tickets on the Connecticut portions of Interstates 91 and 95.
The “New England Drive to Save Lives” campaign was the first coordinated traffic enforcement effort from all six New England states.
Connecticut State Police statistics show 1,397 traffic stops May 4-8 on I-91 and I-95. Police issued 893 speeding citations and 30 speeding warnings. Eighteen people received tickets for failing to wear a seat belt.
Seven people were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Two drivers were cited for violating the state’s Move Over Law requiring drivers to give stationary emergency vehicles a wide berth.
There were 1,293 tickets and 69 warnings classified as “other.”
The Connecticut Judicial Branch infraction book lists a penalty of $299 for cars traveling 81-85 mph. The fine jumps to $449 in a construction zone.
The state used $5,000 in federal highway funds to pay for extra patrol coverage, according to state Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick. He said each New England state also chipped in $5,000 in federal funds for media support.
Police from each state — along with cruisers, mobile command centers, and a helicopter — converged at a commuter lot in Windsor for a press conference on the first day of the campaign. Speakers included Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro.
May’s enforcement effort was the first phase of an initiative designed to “saturate” interstates with troopers as a way to help prevent highway fatalities, according to Connecticut State Police spokesman Shane Hassett. He said the next phase likely will come later this summer.
According to 2012 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 12 percent of the nation’s speeding-related fatalities occurred on Interstate highways.