Smokies stop 19 drivers for cellphone use

man sitting inside the vehicle while having a phone call
Photo by Artem Podrez on

During a two-hour ‘saturation’ patrol on Rte. 4A in Rutland yesterday evening, state troopers conducted a total of 19 traffic stops, all for operators using a handheld electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.

The purpose of the saturation patrol was to enforce motor vehicle laws, in particular the use of handheld electronic devices and promote safe driving. “The Vermont State Police would like to remind motorists to drive in a safe manner and refrain from using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle,” a state police press statement said.

Vermont’s 2014 ‘distracted driving’ law prohibits handling cellphones while driving. Punishment includes $100-$200 for a first violation, and $250-$500 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period.

It’s worse if you violate the law in work and school zones: $200-$400 for a first violation, and $500-$1,000 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period, plus four points assessed against a driving record for a first conviction and five points assessed for a second or subsequent conviction.

An individual convicted of distracted driving outside the work and school zones shall have two points assessed against his or her driving record.

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  1. We can argue the civil liberties about what you do in your own private vehicle but to some phone junkies, their “digital partner” rarely leaves their sight or their hand. When the driving/handheld ban is enforced, it makes these people hide it ever lower in their lap, which takes their eyes even further away from the road. In moonbatty Vermont, we empathize, accommodate and worship those whose addiction is to opioids, but fail to realize that for some people, their addiction to their electronic buddy is just as strong. If people could do so responsibly, using the handheld as a phone or a GPS would be no more distracting than fiddling with the heat controls or the radio
    but it is the texters who present the real danger on the highways. The whole point of texting is to avoid having to make an immediate response, but for many chronic texters, they treat it with the immediacy of a phone conversation which takes priority over other activities. Simple fact: chronic, reactionary texters kill people and delay traffic due to their inattention. A phone conversation only requires hearing and voice. Texting requires eyes and hands, which should be focused on controlling the vehicle you are hurtling down the road in. If the infractions were given out to texters, then they dont have any sympathy from me.

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