SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Police in Springfield will be increasing traffic enforcement to help keep drivers safe on the roads after a string of fatal crashes in the city over the last month.
The new plan, unveiled by Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and Mayor Domenic Sarno on Thursday, aims to tackle reckless, speeding, and or distracted drivers on the city's roads ahead of the busy holiday season. There have been six fatal crashes over the last month in Springfield.
Commissioner Clapprood said in a statement the goal of the plan is to increase compliance with laws of the road to help keep everyone safe.
"We want drivers to pay attention, slow down, and put their phones away," Clapprood said. "We want drivers and pedestrians to get home safely."
The plan, which will begin being enforced on Friday, includes an increase in police watching for traffic violations on the road and more cruisers visible throughout the streets. Springfield Police will also be displaying warnings about speed enforcement and giving public service announcements about road safety.
Fines are also a large part of the campaign. Speeding fines can range from $105 to $355 depending on how fast over the speed limit a driver was going. Fines for violating the hands-free law are set at $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense, and $500 plus an insurance surcharge for any future offenses.
Springfield's mayor is also calling for the city's court systems to stop dismissing traffic violations because it sends the message people can get away with distracted driving.
"We need the backing of our Courts to hold these reckless and distracted drivers responsible," Mayor Sarno said in a statement. "What is it going to take for our Courts to finally hold someone accountable?”
WBZ's John Baibak (@JohnBaibak) reports.