If you were pulled over by local or state police in Fairfield County last year, here are the most common reasons why, according to an analysis by Daily Voice Plus:
- -- Texting or talking on the cellphone while driving.
- -- Speeding (various ticket categories)
- -- Unlicensed to drive.
- -- Unregistered motor vehicle.
- -- Not wearing a front seat belt.
Trailing just behind those types of violations were driving too close, passing a traffic signal and improper lanes.
Daily Voice analyzed more than 18,000 records covering between 80 and 130 ticket categories -- depending on the town or city -- to identify the most common types of tickets, and total fines and fees collected by each municipal court in Fairfield County.
The most common tickets varied by the city or town they were written in. For example, not wearing a front seat belt led all other categories in total tickets in Bridgeport: 535 tickets for that violation were written for $54,691 in fines and fees. The next two highest ticket categories in Bridgeport were driving too close with 244 tickets and driving an unregistered motor vehicle, with 231 tickets.
Beware of driving a big truck through Greenwich, where more than 1,200 tickets were written for overweight or oversized vehicles. Those tickets brought in a total of $770,000 in fines and fees last year. Another 94 tickets worth $40,000 were written in Greenwich for trucks failing to stop at weigh stations. (The reason the fines are so steep is they are on a sliding scale based on pounds overweight, as explained here.)
A total of 223 tickets were written for texting/talking on the phone in Darien, for a fine total of about $35,000. Also in Darien, a total of 178 tickets were written for driving unreasonably fast, for fines totaling nearly $34,000. Last but not least, passing a school bus was a costly offense in Darien -- with nearly $5,600 in fines collected for 12 tickets.
In the town of Fairfield, more than 1,000 tickets were written for driving unreasonably fast, with fines/fees totaling about $195,000. The next highest fine amounts were operating an unregistered motor vehicle ($46,127) and driving without a license ($42,128)
In Ridgefield, speeding attracted the most tickets -- 652 in different categories totaling nearly $123,000 last year.
In Stamford, 965 tickets were written last year for driving while talking or texting on the cellphone, with annual fines totaling nearly $162,000. The second highest fine total was $142,588 for operating a motor vehicle without a license. (534 tickets). A total of 686 speeding tickets were written in Stamford with fines totaling more than $123,300. Last but not least, 86 tickets were written for failing to yield to a pedestrian -- including one blind pedestrian -- for a total in fines/fees of more than $23,600.
In the town of Wilton, speeding tickets led all categories with 113 written for $22,620. There were 109 tickets for driving an unregistered vehicle ($15,829 in fines) and 45 tickets for driving without a license ($11,665).
In the town of Westport, 537 tickets were written for texting/talking while driving with fines/fees totaling $82,762. Another $45,251 was collected for driving unreasonably fast (237 tickets). In a separate speeding category, 133 tickets were written for driving on a highway over 70 mph with more than $40,000 in fines. Also in Westport, a total of 255 tickets were written for driving too close ($38,222) And 254 tickets were written for driving an unregistered motor vehicle ($38,121)
Among the most rarely written tickets in Fairfield County? Failure to walk on the left side of the road, stopping in a railroad crossing, unsafe tires, no mud flaps on the vehicle, no parking brake, driving too slow, driving without a license plate or unreadable license plate, blocking a sidewalk and failure to remove snow/ice from the sidewalk.