Connecticut State Police are launching an "educational" campaign targeting tailgating motorists on highways.
The program will run throughout March in the areas of Hartford, New Haven, Meriden, Middletown, and Old Saybrook. That includes interstates 84, 91, 95 and 691 and routes 8,9, and 15.
According to state police, the project 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 the project by posting "TAILGATING ENFORCEMENT ZONE" on overhead message boards along designated areas of state highways to remind motorists of this project.
Lt. Paul Vance is spokesperson for the State Police. He said tailgating is one the leading causes of accidents in the state. "We did an analysis of accidents that occur in the central portion of the state," he said. "Primarily, what we were looking at was the causative factors. We took one specific month, March 2013, and we found 46.6 percent of the accidents that occurred were as a result of following too close."
Vance said state police have also been provided special laser technology to aid in enforcement. "These laser units not only record the speed of a vehicle on a roadway," he said, "but it also records the distance between vehicles on a roadway. This is important, because many times a 'following too close violation' is a trooper's observation, and a trooper's analysis to how close someone is. ...Now we have this technology that allows us to show virtually how many feet the offender is behind a vehicle."
Tailgating carries a $132.00 fine in the state.
This report contains information from The Associated Press.