COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The governor’s office is launching a new, statewide initiative to educate New Yorkers about the dangers of distracted driving. It’s part of the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign.

Law enforcement throughout the state will be increasing patrols during the week. To help educate drivers about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel, the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee invited NEWS10 onto a closed track for a closer look at how distracted driving can impair focus.

“This track has been used in the past to demonstrate how difficult it is to drive a car with both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road,” Colonie Police Traffic Investigator Jason DePaulo said. “Take your eyes off the road and put them on your phone and electronic device, and take your hand off the wheel, and you’ll see the evidence is obvious on how that can effect someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.”

According to the governor’s office, there were almost 3,000 tickets issued for distracted driving during last year’s campaign.