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Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than 3,000 Tickets Issued During Second Operation Hang-Up

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Second Enhanced Enforcement Campaign Continues To Crack Down on Motorists that Illegally Use a Hand-Held Device


Albany, NY (May 4, 2012)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police issued 3,172 tickets for texting-while-driving violations during the second Operation Hang Up campaign held from April 23 to April 29, 2012.

 

"The fact that State Police issued more than three thousand distracted driving tickets in seven days is a wake-up call for all of us: motorists must change their behaviors and stop putting themselves and others at risk," Governor Cuomo said. "Operation Hang Up has been a successful initiative to protect New Yorkers and keep our roads safe, and I thank the State Police and local law enforcement agencies for their hard work to fight against distracted driving."

 

The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee funds Operation Hang Up campaigns through a Distracted Driving Enforcement Grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant enables the State Police to focus patrol resources on the issue of distracted driving and supplements their conventional traffic safety and enforcement efforts. Similar enhanced enforcement periods will be conducted in the future. The first Operation Hang Up enhanced enforcement campaign took place over last year's Thanksgiving Holiday, during which the New York State Police ticketed more than 800 drivers.

 

Governor Cuomo signed a new law to strengthen enforcement of texting-while-driving violations in July 2011. The law makes using a handheld electronic device for activities such as texting while driving a primary traffic offense, giving law enforcement the power to stop motorists solely for engaging in this activity. Additionally, the penalty for using a handheld device while driving has been increased from two to three points.

 

Recent research has shown that drivers talking on phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. The behavior of such drivers can be equivalent to the behavior of drunk drivers at the threshold of the legal limit of .08 BAC. 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.

 

Superintendent of the New York State Police Joseph A. D'Amico said, "Operation Hang Up sends a clear message to drivers that distracted driving will not be tolerated in New York State. Motorists who disregard the law and continue to use a cell phone or electronic device while driving should know that our agency will remain diligent in our enforcement efforts to reduce the dangers caused by distractive driving." Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Barbara J. Fiala said, "Distracted driving poses a great danger, and by implementing Operation Hang Up and new texting-while-driving laws, New York State is leading the way in protecting the public from this serious hazard. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership and commitment to fighting distracted driving."

 

Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison said, "Using electronic devices while driving is an unsafe distraction and poses a very tangible safety risk. During the Operation Hang Up week, State Police were successful at stopping more than 3,000 incidences of distracted driving, demonstrating the need for drivers to get the message to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road."

 

The total number of tickets issued during the second Operation Hang Up campaign is listed below. Statistics only include tickets issued by State Police, and do not count those issued by local law enforcement officers:

 

    COUNTY
    TICKETS
    ALBANY
    215
    ALLEGANY
    5
    BROOME
    44
    CATTARAUGUS
    7
    CAYUGA
    65
    CHAUTAUQUA
    19
    CHEMUNG
    5
    CHENANGO
    5
    CLINTON
    20
    COLUMBIA
    32
    CORTLAND
    15
    DELAWARE
    2
    DUTCHESS
    105
    ERIE
    199
    ESSEX
    11
    FRANKLIN
    16
    FULTON
    32
    GENESEE
    26
    GREENE
    8
    HAMILTON
    1
    HERKIMER
    26
    JEFFERSON
    54
    LEWIS
    3
    LIVINGSTON
    13
    MADISON
    40
    MONROE
    176
    MONTGOMERY
    46
    NASSAU
    112
    NIAGARA
    54
    ONEIDA
    42
    ONONDAGA
    156
    ONTARIO
    32
    ORANGE
    280
    ORLEANS
    4
    OSWEGO
    35
    OTSEGO
    37
    PUTNAM
    47
    RENSSELAER
    72
    ROCKLAND
    52
    SARATOGA
    112
    SCHENECTADY
    25
    SCHOHARIE
    8
    SCHUYLER
    2
    SENECA
    23
    ST LAWRENCE
    73
    STEUBEN
    52
    SUFFOLK
    109
    SULLIVAN
    111
    TIOGA
    11
    TOMPKINS
    23
    ULSTER
    235
    WARREN
    15
    WASHINGTON
    7
    WAYNE
    16
    WESTCHESTER
    227
    WYOMING
    3
    YATES
    7
    TOTAL
    3172

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