New Canaan Police Fed Up With Distracted Driving

The Police Department encourages teens and parents to attend a Distracted Driving forum at the high school.


In the age of technology, it is easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family. Anyone around the world is just a text message away. It’s often difficult for individuals to tear themselves away from those hand held devices that have virtually become an extension of our hands.

That constant connection still remains, even as we start the car and turn onto the highway. It is not uncommon to see drivers with phones to their ears and facing downward to type out a text message.

As a response to this behavior, the is holding a Distracted Driving Forum on June 6 at .

The forum comes just a few months after a while using her mobile device, according to police.

“The recent accident with the young girl, that wasn’t the sole reason we’re doing this,” said Sgt. Carol Ogrinc, “but it certainly was a contributing factor. I do like the teen driving laws, but there hasn’t been anything specifically about distracted driving.

“There’s just been so many accidents, we decided to do this forum,” said Ogrinc

Speakers will include Fran Mayko from AAA, Marie Winters Trant from Lewis School of Driving, Sergeant Carol Ogrinc from the New Canaan Police Department and guest speaker Jacy Good, who will share a personal experience related to distracted driving.

Teens and parents are encouraged by the police department to attend.

The forum will be held in the Wagner Room from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Dave May 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I have been driving for years I uses to race cars I have driven in a sorts of conditions I my self have used my cell phone while driving no more it's scary how fast things can happen how fast your life can turn around for looking at your cell phone or how fast you can take a life I side with the NPD CRACK DOWN NO MORE EXCUSES WRITE THOSE TICKETS
marilyn May 31, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Please, please. NCPD. write those tickets! Because sadly, reason doesn't work with these selfish, foolish drivers....but maybe a hefty fine would "speak" to them.
CW May 31, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I support the NCPD's efforts to stamp out this unsafe and selfish habit. I bike and jog all over town, and I have seen first hand that cell phone usage while driving has reached epidemic proportions in New Canaan. There is no reason to add to the already too long a list of New Canaan residents who have been involved in fatal accidents due to distracted driving.
Greenhill May 31, 2012 at 01:56 PM
The laws pertaining to this issue need to change to add more severe fines and driving privilege repercussions for using hand-held devices. There is only so much NCPD can do and I applaud the effort when they try. Perhaps our local representatives can give law enforcement some legislative help as a deterrent.
Erich Bruhn May 31, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I applaud the police for their efforts. Unfortunately, their are too many villagers who think they are too important to adhere to the law. If the police plan to hold these forums in the future it should be mandatory that all those cited for distracted driving have to attend as part of their citation
Dave May 31, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I would have to agree this town is full of those who think they are above the law I grew in town and have my bizz in town and it's sick the NCPD need to crack down hard on this matter money or no money tickets harder laws
Christie Hartnett May 31, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Bravo NCPD for organizing this program and awareness initiative - - -All you others, stop with the New Canaan Resident Bashing! This texting and driving is going on everywhere that a cell phone exists! It's not just a NC problem!
Kendall L Owott May 31, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Well, Ms. Hartnett, it may be a special New Canaan problem. There are many people using hand-held cell phones while driving in New Canaan as well as elsewhere. However, did you know that April WAS National Distracted Driver’s Awareness Month? None of the local media seems to have written anything about it, so unless the NCPD had a secret campaign going on, they didn’t publicize or emphasize it, either. Maybe there is at least 1 New Canaan driver who might have benefitted from campaign publicity and enforcement on or before April 1. Anyway, the NCPD deserves credit for attacking the problem in May. Somebody mark their calendar for next March, please. If done already, thank you. Here’s a link from the Feds. www.distraction.gov
Dave May 31, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The new Canaan bashing would end if you one teach your kids about respect two about the laws of driving and to take 85% of the newcanaannites head out the A¥£% and mybe that guy who got hit and killed would still be alive if the parents would have taught there kid about not using her cell phone while driving oh one more thing this is new Canaan patch this is a new Canaan issue
Four Jacks May 31, 2012 at 08:33 PM
There are SO many people on the phone while driving, I notice them all the time. What I also notice is that it's mostly adults, not teens, and I drive to the HS quite often as I have two students there. It is the parents that are the biggest offenders, and they are setting a POOR example for the teens, just as they do with thier own out-of-control drinking.
Emily Constance (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 09:10 PM
As I am new to New Canaan, I am driving around town very often. I'm always studying the area and the people and their behavior so I can get to know the town. What I've noticed is that drivers using hand held devices in New Canaan are not concentrated in the 16-19 age group. In fact, I have not see this behavior constrained to any particular age group. It's especially bad on Merritt Parkway. I think parents would do well to attend this forum with their teens as well.
Emily Constance (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Also, the case with young girl and the jogger is still under investigation and any mention of her using her cell phone is preceded with "allegedly" as there has been no verdict, only charges.
David Jones June 01, 2012 at 12:42 AM
What about the police officers? I see every one of them chatting away on their cell phone all the time laughing and definately distracted. This is not just New Canaan. I see this everywhere. Are police officers above the law?
Truth June 01, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I am fed up with rude cops with a chip on their shoulder who speed and break the law themselves all the time.
Novak220 June 01, 2012 at 02:09 AM
a hefty fine? Most of these kids, that would no doubt be pulled over and ticketed for this offense, would learn nothing because their parents would pay for everything. I dont have a solution besides revoking licenses. If you take freedom away from kids it speaks volumes.
Ade June 01, 2012 at 02:41 AM
David Jones - I did read in the comments of another story here on Patch that police and other first responders are exempt from the cell phone law. Dave Pet - For the love of God, please find the punctuation marks on whatever device it is you are using to comment here.
Truth June 01, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I just watched a cop make a sweeping U turn in front of 2 cars, and pull a kid over - the cop was more reckless than who he pulled that is what people should be talking about...seriously some of these guys are real idiots and unsafe in their own practice
cindyb June 15, 2012 at 06:43 PM
New Canaan PD just missed their chance....I was driving to Dairen down South ave about 1:30pm today and noticed the car behind me swerving all over the place, into the bike lane- not to mention tail gaiting me- then backing off. I thought perhaps the driver was drunk- as the teenage girl, in a silver suv, black hair in a pony tail, purple shirt turned to get on the merritt pkwy i saw the phone and her txting. It was terrifying. If I could have only seen her plate number. It was really bad and had any biker, jogger etc. been on South Ave. she would have been the next person having many regrets.
Glen K Dunbar June 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Someone I know got a tix for just looking at her phone on the passenger seat. It was in NY. So, all areas are being strict. Can't blame just New Canaan....at least on this issue. This is one law I am willing to obey too. GLEN


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