New York State Police cracked down on texting drivers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, issuing 816 tickets during "Operation Hang-Up."
The holiday enforcement campaign ran from Nov. 23 through Nov. 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
From January to June, a monthly average of 429 tickets were issued to motorists for using a handheld electronic device while driving. Since the new law was signed in July, at least 1,000 tickets have been issued each month.
"During this enhanced enforcement period, troopers ticketed drivers who ignored this new law and endangered their fellow motorists by using a mobile device while driving," said Joseph A. D'Amico, superintendent of the state police. "We will continue to enforce the law and work to reduce distracted driving to ensure New York's highways and citizens are safe."
In July, Gov. Cuomo signed a law to strengthen enforcement of texting-while-driving violations. The law makes it a primary traffic offense to use a handheld electronic device for activities such as texting while driving. It gives law enforcement the power to stop motorists solely for engaging in this activity.
The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee funded "Operation Hang-Up" through a Distracted Driving Enforcement Grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant enabled the state police to focus patrol resources on the issue of distracted driving and supplemented their conventional traffic safety and enforcement efforts. Similar enhanced enforcement periods will be conducted in the future.