2018-04-11 / News

Operation Hang Up crackdown on distracted driving

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

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 people were killed in distraction-related crashes in the U.S. in 2016. The NHTSA has 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.

During the last campaign from April 8 to April 13, 2017, State Police issued more than 2,000 tickets for distracted driving. These tickets covered 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, visitwww.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, visitwww.distraction.gov.

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