Distracted driving is a dangerous way to travel, which is why Trooper First-Class Carlo Guerra was out on the road on Tuesday.
It's illegal, but it's something quite a few drivers do, and most have an excuse for why.
As a member of Connecticut State Police Traffic Services, it's not out of the ordinary for Guerra to be out on the roads stopping drivers, but Tuesday was a bit different. Guerra says a few months ago state police began a traffic enforcement initiative by joining forces with local troops.
"Lieutenants from the troop levels are asking for assistance, whether it be a high crash-risk area or just a lot of complaints for distracted driving or speeding," said Guerra. "We can impact an area a little bit more and try to get a higher compliance and try to prevent accidents."
It's something they do several times a month. Extra patrols are on the roads also focusing on areas where they've received complaints about aggressive and erratic drivers.
The vehicle Guerra's in is a bit more incognito. It allows him to get up close to drivers to see what they're up to.
"The highest concern people have complained about are people on their cell phones, and having these vehicles allows us to blend in to traffic and focus on that particular initiative," said Guerra.
For Tuesday's initiative day, CSP had extra patrols on I-91, I-95, and I-84. During our ride along, we saw many people with phones in their hands, either talking or texting.
"You're doing 65 miles an hour, you're focusing on your phone, texting or using it as a GPS, holding it and entering the address. It takes your eyes off the road, and if you're doing 65 miles an hour and you're looking down at your phone, you're being distracted, and you're going a long distance without even realizing it. So the car in front of you could stop and next thing you know you have a rear end collision," said Guerra.
The message from CSP to drivers is clear: focus on the road.
"The goal is to have safer highways. Between the speeding, the reckless driving, distracted driving, following too close, all those violations will cause accidents which makes the highway unsafe," said Guerra.