Contact: Kevin Coughlin
December 15, 2011
CROMWELL—State Senator Andrew Maynard (D-Stonington) was honored as a 2011 Legislator of the Year today by the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association for his work to crack down on drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses, and to increase fines for distracted drivers who send text messages while driving.
This morning’s award ceremony was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Cromwell, CT, where other legislators were also honored. The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association held its Winter Meeting afterward.
“Connecticut’s police chiefs work every day to keep our communities safe, and lead men and women who risk their lives to enforce the law. I am honored to receive their recognition for work we performed at the legislature this year,” said Senator Maynard.
By law, drivers must stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights. Senator Maynard helped to pass legislation this year that allows towns and school boards to install cameras on school buses which record motor vehicles that violate this law. The bill also increases applicable fines for such a violation.
"This change in the law is going to allow us to do a couple of things with cameras inside school buses; we'll catch the violator whether we are there or not. Those are our kids out there we're trying to protect, and this is a very significant piece of legislation that went through Senator Maynard's committee,” said Chief James Strillacci of the CT Police Chiefs Association.
The bill requires the state to remit 80 percent of the fines collected from violators to the municipalities in which the violations occur, a key source of revenue as many municipalities confront difficult budget choices.
Senator Maynard also worked to pass Public Act No. 11-213 earlier this year, which increased fines for use of hand-held cell phones or texting while driving from $100 to $125 for a first offense, $150 to $250 for a second, and $200 to $400 thereafter.
State Senator Andrew Maynard is Senate Chair of the Transportation Committee. He represents the 18th Senatorial District communities of Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington and Voluntown.
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Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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