ROCKY HILL — Across the state, from Route 15 to I-84, I-91 and I-95 to rural roads, the Connecticut State Police have launched expanded efforts to reduce highway fatalities through targeted enforcement.

These initiatives, which have already begun, include using police data to guide additional patrols and enforcement saturation along highways where crashes and fatalities have become more common.

Gov. Ned Lamont joined Interim Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Ronnell A. Higgins, Interim Col. Daniel Loughman, commanding officer of the CSP, and Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto to make the announcement Thursday along I-91 in Rocky Hill.

Connecticut has seen an unacceptable increase in driving and pedestrian fatalities as concern has grown about unsafe and reckless driving on state highways. More recently, there have been 3 wrong way crashes in the state, with 7 fatalities.

“The Connecticut State Police and our law enforcement partners remain committed to protecting the safety of our roadways and preventing irresponsible drivers from endangering the lives of others,” Gov. Lamont said. “We are sending a clear message that reckless driving is dangerous and illegal, and we have zero tolerance for the poor decisions of those whose negligence puts others in harm’s way. With more ridesharing services available now than at any other point in history, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone who may be impaired not to get a designated driver.”

DESPP, which oversees the Connecticut State Police, is working collaboratively with other state agencies and municipal police departments to improve enforcement and educate motorists.

“We know where the greatest problem areas are. We know that increased enforcement works,’’ said Interim DESPP Commissioner Ronnell A. Higgins. “Using data, improved technology, and targeted enforcement, we will work with our other partners in government to reduce highway fatalities.’’

Commissioner Eucalitto said the DOT would continue to work closely with DESPP, the Connecticut State Police, and other partners.

“I am appreciative of law enforcement who are out on the roads day and night keeping our communities safe,’’ Eucalitto said. “We at CTDOT are doing what we can from a design, engineering, and construction standpoint to help people get to their destination safely. Despite all of these efforts, it is the driver who can control their actions. Remember to slow down, pay attention, and drive sober.”

There were 302 deaths along state highways in 2021, 366 in 2022, and 322 in 2023, according to the DOT. There have been 49 fatalities in 2024. Historically, traffic fatalities in Connecticut have been trending downward since 1980, despite a recent surge.

“In addition to patrolling thousands of miles of roads in our state, the Connecticut State Police also regularly plan initiatives to combat distracted driving, aggressive driving, and operating under the influence,’’ Col. Loughman said. “Patrol troopers, in conjunction with our Traffic Services Unit and the DOT, work collaboratively to focus on deterring dangerous driving – including wrong way drivers – on all Connecticut roads.”

By Alex

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