Police crack down on cell phone use while driving this week - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Police crack down on cell phone use while driving this week

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ALBANY, NY - Governor Cuomo announced that State Police will conduct "Operation Hang Up" this week to target motorists using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

The enforcement will begin on Monday and will continue through Sunday. During this time police will step up enforcement measures to make sure drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

The last time "Operation Hang Up" took place was over last year's Thanksgiving holiday. During that time, police ticketed more than 800 drivers in New York State. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law to strengthen enforcement of texting-while-driving violations last July. The law makes texting while driving a primary traffic offense, giving police the power to stop drivers solely for texting.

Also, the penalty for using a handheld device while driving has been increased from two to three points on your license.

Research shows that drivers talking on phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed more than 3,000 deaths last year to distracted driving, calling it a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways.

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