Troopers, local law enforcement cracking down on North Country drivers using electronic devices
Friday, April 13, 2018 - 12:07 pm

New York State Police and local law enforcement will be looking for drivers using electronic devices in a special effort in the North Country and around the state cracking down on distracted driving now through April 16.

The enforcement effort, part of April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month called Operation Hang Up, will include increased patrols and checkpoints targeting drivers using electronic devices while behind the wheel.

Preliminary data indicates a more than 1,100 percent increase in tickets for texting while driving in New York State from 2011 to 2017, including a 20 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. While hands-free technology in vehicles has resulted in a steady decline in the number of tickets issued for cell phone use, the increased use of smartphones has caused texting tickets to rise every year since 2011.

This year’s enforcement detail will be using both marked and unmarked state police vehicles in order to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving.

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Motorists who disregard the law and the dangers of using a smartphone while driving could face stiff penalties. Our Troopers will be highly visible and vigilant in our enforcement efforts, as we seek to eliminate the tragedies caused by distracted driving.”