Waterbury Police Chief Michael Gugliotti announced the start of a citywide Highway Safety Initiative. “The summer months are where we see the most vehicle collisions.” Chief Gugliotti said. “Not only does the frequency of crashes increase but so does the extent of the injuries. Unsafe driving practices are primarily to blame particularly excessive speed, distracted driving and alcohol.” The Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit continues to aggressively enforce motor vehicle laws in an effort to reduce the accident rate. “Officers will be out running radar and looking for distracted & impaired drivers all over the city, 24 hours a day” the Chief said. While speed and alcohol are often the two biggest causes of serious crashes, other factors often play a part and police will be going after those too.

“In addition to reckless and distracted driving, faulty or dangerous equipment and unregistered vehicles are all being targeted, too” Chief Gugliotti said. “Studies have shown that people with unregistered and uninsured cars are exponentially more likely to be involved in a crash than people who show responsibility with their vehicles”. These unregistered and uninsured cars are a big problem in Waterbury. “My officers will be taking a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to improperly registered cars,” said the Chief. “These drivers will be ticketed and their cars towed to keep them from causing accidents.” The Waterbury Police recently received help in accomplishing this. Last month the department obtained two License Plate Reader camera systems from a Federal grant. These cameras are mounted on patrol cars and continually scan the license plates of passing or parked cars, instantly alerting the officer if there is a problem. “The cameras are looking for cars that are stolen, unregistered, uninsured, or otherwise wanted by the police” said Lt. Scott Stevenson, head of the Traffic Enforcement Unit.

The system can scan 1800 vehicles per minute and even works in the dark. “These cameras have already proven to be invaluable,” said Stevenson. “In the first month alone, we’ve recovered 4 stolen cars and have removed over 100 vehicles that should not have been on the road.” Stevenson urges all drivers to take a moment and check that their license, registration and insurance are all up to date and the proper paperwork is in the car.