We see it hundreds of times a week on Connecticut’s major highways.
You know, those annoying and dangerous drivers who tailgate. Maybe you’re one of those drivers.
Starting today, the Connecticut State Police is launching an new enforcement campaign called “Stop Tailgating, You’re Too Close.”
The month-long crackdown 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.
And yes, troopers in southwest Connecticut will also be on patrol on the major highways to make sure drivers here are following the law.
Those caught tailgating could face a $132 ticket.
Here’s a video posted on YouTube of a dangerous tailgating driver on Route 8 in Trumbull near the Merritt Parkway intersection.
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.
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 percent 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.
State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said, “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,” Vance said in a statement.
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.
Connecticut laws related to tailgating
Violation of Connecticut General Statute 14-240 Vehicles to be Driven Reasonable Distance Apart and 14-240a Vehicles to be Driven Reasonable Distance Apart with Intent to Harass/Intimidate. Each violation carries a fine of $132.00. Drivers who tailgate will be cited for these moving violations whether or not a rear-end collision occurs.
This is not a ticket campaign but enforcement action will be taken when violations are observed by Troopers.