CT police officers patrol roads to keep drivers safe - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT police officers patrol roads to keep drivers safe

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Police in Waterford were patrolling the streets during the Labor Day Weekend (WFSB) Police in Waterford were patrolling the streets during the Labor Day Weekend (WFSB)

With the Labor Day weekend winding down, roads throughout Connecticut were busy with drivers trying to get home.

Police officers were also busy as they kept a watchful eye out for people breaking the law.

Eyewitness News went for a ride along with one officer in Waterford on Monday.

Perfect weather and some of the lowest gas prices seen in years added up to a busy Labor Day weekend in 2015.  

“Any weekend is busy for us, especially a holiday weekend. There's an increase in traffic, which is an increase in violations,” Waterford Police Officer David Ferland said.

That's what Ferland was hunting for on Labor Day

“We're looking for any violations that may contribute to any sort of problems on the roadway,” Ferland said. “Anything that leads to accidents if not addressed.”

Ferland was focused on speed enforcement. With more cars than normal on the roads, combined with the usual potential for holiday driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, officers across the state were ramping up their patrols.

Last year, more than 1700 speeding tickets were written on Labor Day weekend and 35 were booked for operating under the influence. Sometimes the smallest stops can net drunk drivers.

“Very typical, we drive around, looking for any violations,” Ferland said. “Anything we can see as well as answering calls for service when they come.”

Ferland was posted up on Route 85 right by Crystal Mall. The speed limit in that area is 35 mph. In less than a minute, a motor vehicle was clocked traveling more than 50 mph. The driver was given a written warning.

As the patrol went on, officers were purposely stationed on busy roads in plain sight, sometimes to just act as a deterrent.

“We like to let people know we're out there, checking,” Ferland said.

Ultimately, no arrests were made during Eyewitness News’ ride along. But the message was clear, police were going to be extra vigilant.

“We want them to have a safe, good holiday weekend, and for those who aren't following the rules, we want to make sure their violations are addressed,” Ferland said.

Right now, there's no official citation tally in Waterford.

As of Tuesday morning, state police handled out 1,930 speeding tickets, 98 seatbelt violations and 4,132 other moving violations including unsafe lane change, following too closely, cell phone, texting.

State police arrested 45 people for DUI.

Troopers responded 336 crashes that included 58 with injuries involved and three fatal accidents.

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