PCI Urges Connecticut Lawmakers to Strengthen Laws on Distracted Driving Repeat Offenders

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) strongly supports measures, such as H.B. 5301, to address the growing problem of distracted driving. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2016 increased about 8 percent as compared to the same time period in 2015. However, traffic fatalities in NHTSA’s Region 1 which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont were estimated to have increased 20 percent in 2016. Nationally, roadway deaths have been steadily increasing since 2014, and distracted driving is thought to be one of the leading causes for the rise in vehicle accidents.

“Connecticut has demonstrated that fighting distracted driving is a priority and increasing penalties for repeat offenders will, once again, demonstrate that distracted driving will not be tolerated in Connecticut,” said Kristina Baldwin vice president, state government relations for PCI. “Tough fines are particularly appropriate for repeat offenders who demonstrate through their repeated careless behavior that they do not understand or appreciate the danger which distracted driving poses both to themselves and others.  This bill, by increasing penalties for these repeat offenders, will help to drive home the message that distracted driving is taken very seriously in the State of Connecticut.”

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PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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PCI strongly supports measures, such as H.B. 5301, to address the growing problem of distracted driving.
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Connecticut has demonstrated that fighting distracted driving is a priority and increasing penalties for repeat offenders will, once again, demonstrate that distracted driving will not be tolerated in Connecticut
Kristina Baldwin vice president, state government relations for PCI