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Operation 'Hang-up': Police watching for drivers using electronic devices

'Operation 'Hang-up' runs from April 10th - 15th
Watertown (WWTI) -- For the next several days State Police will be stepping up patrols and checkpoints throughout Northern New York as part of 'Operation Hang Up'.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, 3,328 people across the country were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated 421,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Additionally, 10% percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

Current laws include strict penalties for distracted drivers:
· For a first offense, the minimum fine is $50 and maximum fine increases to $150.
· For a second offense committed within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum fine increases to $200.
· For a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum fine increases to $400.

Beginning on November 1st of this year, new laws take effect for young drivers:
· Young and new drivers convicted of texting-while-driving will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense.

· For second offense, young and new drivers will have their license suspended for one full year.

During the last “Operation Hang Up” campaign, State Police issued more than 875 tickets. More than 625 tickets were issued for talking on a cell phone without a hands free device while driving and more than 250 of the tickets were for texting or using an electronic device while driving.

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings. Distracted driving is just as dangerous as speeding or driving impaired and continues to be a leading contributing factor of motor vehicle crashes. Motorists should know this type of behavior will not be tolerated and you will be ticketed if you are caught using a handheld electronic device behind the wheel.”

'Operation Hang-up' will run from April 10th - 15th.

 



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