Lawmakers to southwestern CT drivers: Don't hold the phone

Police and lawmakers in southwestern Connecticut want to hike up the penalty for violators of the hands-free driving law.More than a year ago, leaders passed a law making it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving. The hands-free driving law encourages drivers to instead use a headset or speaker if a phone call is necessary. However, police say many drivers do not follow the rules. Lawmakers hope hiking the penalty from $100 to $250 will send a wake-up call.State lawmakers say enforcement of the law has been also been sporadic. Therefore, under the proposal, local municipalities would receive a larger portion of each fine issued. The issue and proposal will be addressed next Wednesday at a public hearing in Hartford.