Route 2 east closed in Colchester due to vehicle fire

(WFSB file)

With AAA predicting more than 35 million drivers across the country to travel this Labor Day weekend, Connecticut State Police are looking to remind drivers to put down the cell phones and get a designated driver.

Troopers said they will be concentrating efforts on drunk driving, speeding, seatbelt violations and distracted driving.

"These dangerous driving behaviors claim the lives of our residents every year," state police said in a news release. "Troopers will utilize both traditional and non-traditional state police vehicles on the roads searching for reckless and intoxicated drivers."

State police urged people who see suspected drunk drivers to dial 911.

"People daytime drinking, going from party to party, that's obviously an issue, we find the same accidents, a lot of times, they can be more severe because more vehicles are involved during the daytime," Connecticut State Police Trooper Trevor Gregor said.

Police said Labor Day traffic in itself tends to be more dangerous because the volume of cars is steady. Last Labor Day weekend, troopers responded to 283 crashes, thankfully, none of them fatal.

State police stressed that there is no second chance for first offenses.

"For most of the motoring public, they only see the one side of it, where we're out here enforcing, 'don't do this, you broke this law, you broke that law,'" Gregor said. "When you respond to these crashes and you see these accidents and you see the trauma and injury and the families and the death notifications, we have to do and how people's lives are changed forever it brings it into a different perspective for us. "

See a list of their checkpoint locations here.

Troopers said the enforcement will continue into next week as more children head back to school. They sought to remind drivers to watch for pedestrians, especially walking children.

Under Connecticut law, it is mandatory that drivers stop for school buses that have their flashing red warning lights activated whether they are approaching or following the bus.

"Fines for passing a school bus that has its flashing red warning lights activated start at $465 for a first offense," state police said.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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