Chief Michael Lombardo
The Wilton Police Department is dedicated to protecting the safety of the motoring public throughout the community. Safe passage through our town is one of our top priorities in serving the Town. Since October 1, 2005, it has been illegal to operate a motor vehicle within the State of Connecticut with a handheld cell phone without the use of a hands free device. When drivers use a cell phone they are not concentrating on their primary responsibility and are endangering themselves and others that are using the roadway along with them. Your driving ability will decrease from any form of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) estimates that overall distracted driving may be the cause of as much as 25 percent of all reported accidents to police.
During a true emergency it is still legal in Connecticut to use a handheld cell phone device. Drivers should make every effort to pull to a safe place to make a call on a handheld device considering the form of the emergency that requires the call for assistance. Your use of a handheld device while driving must be balanced along with the urgency of the situation at hand.
When Connecticut enacted this law there was a call from the police department for voluntary compliance. However, we still see many motorists using handheld cell phone devices to carry on conversations.
All of our patrol officers enforce this prohibition as a part of their normal duties. They are also directed to special assignments where they are specifically detailed to focus on the use of cell phones by drivers. If you do not have a handheld device I recommend that you either do not drive and talk on the phone, you pull off to a safe location to use your phone or you purchase a hands free device to use. Use of a handheld cell phone without a hands free device can result in a state fine of $100.00.
I thank you for your cooperation and assistance in helping us to make Wilton a safer community.