BRIDGEPORT - Troop G is cracking down on distracted driving in southwestern Connecticut.

State troopers and police officers say that they are enforcing distracted driving laws as part of the national U Drive, U Text, U Pay campaign.  

Police say that they will ticket drivers $150 for the first offense, $300 for the second and $500 for the third. They say despite last year's awareness campaign, more drivers than ever seemed distracted while driving.

"In stop-and-go traffic we've been overwhelmed with the number of rear-end collisions in traffic,” said Trooper Jonathan Kaufman, of Troop G. “It’s a big part of this campaign to get the phones of out people’s hands and keep their eyes on the road."

Police say distracted driving leads to thousands of deaths nationwide every year.

Police advise drivers to use a hands-free device if they use a phone on the road.