BERLIN, CT (WFSB) -- Local police departments are cracking down on texting while driving.

At the onset of the pandemic, Berlin police said they only stopped drivers for dangerous moving violations because of social distancing.

However, they think drivers took advantage of this.

Now, police will be on the lookout for those who are driving distracted.

Berlin police have joined the nationwide crackdown on distracted driving called the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign.

The department received a grant to help boost patrols.

Drivers are saying that it’s time to curb distracted driving.

“It reinforces things. It gives people something to think about before they do it,” Ronaid Pecor, of New Britain.

Police in Berlin said they are seeing the most crashes in town on the Berlin Turnpike and Deming Road.

They said distracted driving is probably the number one reason for crashes.

“It’s pretty bad. A lot of rear-end crashes, following too close, people veering off the highways,” said Berlin Deputy Police Chief Chris Ciuci.

Officers are targeting high-crash areas like Route 372, the Chamberlain Highway, and the Berlin Turnpike.

Berlin police said it hopes people will listen and put their phones down.

To avoid getting a ticket, police said drivers can invest in Bluetooth for their vehicles and get a mount so they can talk hands-free.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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