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State Police will have crackdown on distracted driving from April 12-16

Posted 4 April 2018 at 8:17 am

Press Release, NY State Police

The New York State Police will have a statewide crackdown on distracted driving, as part of April’s designation as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. From April 12 to April 16, Troopers in marked and unmarked vehicles will aggressively ticket drivers using handheld devices—like smartphones—during Operation Hang Up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed in distraction-related crashes in the U.S. in 2016. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released fatal traffic crash data for calendar year 2016. According to NHTSA data, which was collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015.

Current New York State law includes the following penalties for distracted drivers:

• For a first offense, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum is $200

• A second offense in 18 months increases the maximum fine to $250

• A third offense in 18 months results in a maximum fine of $450

• Probationary and junior drivers face a 120-day suspension of their license for a first offense, and one-year revocation of their permit or license if a second offense is committed within six months.

Operation Hang Up is a special enforcement effort to step up patrols and checkpoints. Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (unmarked) vehicles as part of the operation in order to identify motorists who are using handheld electronic devices while driving. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe distracted driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

During the last campaign from April 8 to April 13, 2017, State Police issued more than 2,000 tickets for distracted driving. These tickets were a combination of talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving, texting, or using an electronic device while driving.

The campaign is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. For more information, visit www.safeny.ny.gov. For more information on New York State’s cell-phone and texting laws, go to www.dmv.ny.gov/cellphone.htm. For more information on distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov.

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