2011-11-18 / Top Stories

State To Crack Down On Cell Phone Violators

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that during the Thanksgiving holiday, the New York State Police will conduct an enhanced enforcement campaign called “Operation Hang Up” to target motorists that use their cell phone and other electronic devices while driving.

“Over the Thanksgiving holiday we will be stepping up our enforcement measures to send a clear message to drivers: keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” Governor Cuomo said. “Using a handheld device while driving is illegal and puts the lives and safety of New Yorkers on the road at risk. I thank the State Police and local law enforcement officers for their hard work to keep New Yorkers safe.”

“Operation Hang-up” is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through a Distracted Driving Enforcement Grant. The grant enables the State Police to focus patrol resources on the issue of distracted driving and supplements their conventional traffic safety and enforcement efforts. Traffic volume is generally the heaviest during the Thanksgiving holiday and the operation will be conducted statewide. Under this grant, similar enhanced enforcement periods will be conducted throughout the year.

Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent of the New York State Police, said, “Drivers must eliminate distractions and behaviors that take their attention from the road and unnecessarily puts lives at risk. During this enhanced enforcement period, troopers will ticket those drivers who ignore this law and use a mobile device while driving. We will continue our efforts to reduce distracted driving to ensure New York’s highways and citizens are safe.”

Governor Cuomo signed a new law to strengthen enforcement of textingwhile driving violations in July. The law makes using a handheld electronic device for activities such as texting while driving a primary traffic offense, giving law enforcement the power to stop motorists solely for engaging in this activity. Additionally, the penalty for using a handheld device while driving has increased from two to three points.

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