Albany Co. Sheriff's Office cracking down on distracted driving - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Albany Co. Sheriff's Office cracking down on distracted driving

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's push to crack down on distracted drivers, Albany County sheriffs deputies were undercover and out in force Tuesday, making sure drivers weren't breaking the law.

"I see it all the time," said local driver Michael Dellheim.  "I'm guilty of it too."

Albany County Sheriff Deputy Chad Hotaling, along with five other officers, spent Tuesday targeting Central Avenue in Albany looking for violators.

"See her actually on her cell phone right there," said Deputy Hotaling as he points out a driver talking on her phone just feet away from his patrol car.

Since using a handheld electronic device is now a primary offense, police can stop any driver just for seeing someone using a cell phone while behind the wheel.  For some area residents, it's a bit much.

"There's so many laws as it is, you don't even know if you're breaking a law just walking down the street anymore," said Dellheim.

As of the beginning of June, getting caught using a handheld electronic device while driving in New York will cost the driver five points on their drivers license, and potentially hundreds of dollars in fines.

"It only takes a split second for your eyes to be off that road," said Deputy Hotaling.  "And somebody can step out and you're not sure what the outcome is going to be."

A message Deputy Hotaling hopes young drivers take seriously.  Especially since they have more strict penalties if they get caught – first time drivers can have their license suspended if caught using their phone while driving during the first six months of being on the road.

"The parents and everybody else has got to clue them in, 'hey, you can't do that,'" said Dellheim.

The increased enforcement will continue throughout the summer across the state of New York. 


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