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If 'You're Too Close!' State Police Will Be Right Behind You

Connecticut State Police are targeting tailgaters on the state's highways throughout the month of March.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

A press release from Connecticut State Police:

Connecticut State Police Central District Troopers based at Troops in Bethany, Hartford and Westbrook will initiate a ‘Stop Tailgating, You're Too Close!" project during the month of March. 

This State Police tailgating enforcement project will focus on limited access highways in the greater Hartford, New Haven, Meriden, Middletown and Old Saybrook areas on the following highways: I-84, I-91, I-95, I-691, Routes 8, 9 and 15.

What is tailgating?

Tailgating is defined as a driver following too closely behind another motorist. This is an aggressive driving behavior and the leading cause of injury/non-injury related accidents.

Why tailgating is a problem?

Following too closely, or tailgating, is common, poor driving behavior that can result in dangerous rear-end collisions and easily be mistaken for aggressive driving leading to road rage. A review of State Police Central District accident data collected in 2013 shows that following too closely accounts for the cause in approximately 40% of all accidents within the Central State Police Troop areas. These rear-end collisions are most frequent during weekday commute hours in clear weather and on dry roads.

What does this 'Stop Tailgating, You're Too Close' project hope to accomplish?

The intent of this project is to educate all motorists to maintain a safe following distances, with the goal of voluntary compliance by all drivers to reduce the number of rear-end collision accidents and aggressive driving habits. 

The project will run during the month of March 2014 and will consist of an educational component and then high visibility of Troopers throughout the Central Troop areas to strictly enforce following too close/tailgating violations. 

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will support this ‘Stop Tailgating’ project by posting ‘Tailgating Enforcement Zone’ on overhead message boards along designated areas of these highways to remind motorists of this project. In addition, new technology will be provided by DOT to State Troopers working in this operation.

What is a safe following distance while driving?

Connecticut law states no driver shall follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the speed of such vehicle, the traffic, the condition of the highway, and weather conditions.

During less than ideal driving conditions or at speeds exceeding 55mph, this time and distance by drivers should increase.

Who are partners in the project?

Connecticut State Police – Troop H, Hartford / Troop I, Bethany / Troop F, Westbrook, Connecticut Department of Transportation - Highway Safety Office.

Connecticut laws related to tailgating 

  • 14-240 Vehicles to be Driven Reasonable Distance Apart
  • 14-240a Vehicles to be Driven Reasonable Distance Apart with Intent to Harass/Intimidate

Each violation carries a fine of $132. Drivers who tailgate will be cited for these moving violations whether or not a rear-end collision occurs.

Objective

Troopers are undertaking this campaign to reduce the number of crashes that take place on central Connecticut roads and highways. This is not a ticket campaign but enforcement action will be taken when violations are observed by Troopers.

"Maintaining a safe following distance is more than being a good driver – it’s the law."

Tmc March 05, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Yes Kacey it will stop. Along with them being allowed to hold a cell phone while driving. And being allowed to park anywhere they want. And then it will rain gold dust and money trees will sprout up everywhere...
Igor March 06, 2014 at 07:09 AM
It's not my skills I'm worried about, it's the other driver's skills. The driver who thinks his skills are better than they actually are. You can tell those. The ones that weave in and out of traffic missing your bumper by 6 inches. I also have driven I95 for over 35 years, and I have seen more than I care too. Some I get pissed off, and sometimes I can't help laugh at some of the bonehead moves. Well whichever a person drive I hope they arrive home safely.
Laura March 06, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Are we done with this discussion yet? I hate tailgaters, I drive over the speed limit (about 10 mph) and I stay off I95 & the Merritt...I do not talk on the phone while driving either - I figure my JOB at that moment is driving...and watching for crazies out there WHO DON'T CARE...
maureen cawthra May 07, 2014 at 02:30 PM
Well hell..I drive a truck and ALWAYS try to leave plenty of room because trucks need more room for stopping distance but some dimwit always manages to swerve into the space in front of me so then what? ?? I get the ticket for following too close? ??? IS THAT RIGHT????? How about state police address the white line dancers and swervers ALONG with the DELIBERATE tailgaters! !!!! You can't leave a safe space between yiu and the next vehicle if some moron decides to squeeze in there AND THEY ALWAYS DO!!!!!
Tmc May 09, 2014 at 10:12 PM
Maureen is absolutely correct; most people have no clue how much room is needed to stop a Class B truck. Finalists for the Darwin award pollute CT highways.

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