New York State Police Enforcing 'Operation Hang Up' Thanksgiving Week

November 23, 2011 Updated Nov 23, 2011 at 4:42 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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New York State Police Enforcing 'Operation Hang Up' Thanksgiving Week

November 23, 2011 Updated Nov 23, 2011 at 4:42 PM EDT

Batavia, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Major Christopher L. Cummings, Troop “A” Commander, on Wednesday announced that during the Thanksgiving Holiday, the New York State Police will continue with a specialized traffic enforcement campaign called "Operation Hang Up" targeting motorists that use their cell phone and other electronic devices while driving in the Troop “A” area. 

Cell phone use and texting while driving continue to proliferate despite widespread public concern and acknowledgment that the behaviors are dangerous. They support widespread increased enforcement. 

Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that drivers who use hand held devices (phones, blackberries, etc.) are four times more likely to be involved in crashes that are serious enough to cause injuries. At average highway speeds, in three seconds you will travel the length of a football field.

The State Police will be utilizing a new resource to enforce these types of violations. A Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicle will be deployed throughout this holiday weekend and the near future. This unmarked police vehicle is fully equipped with emergency lighting and other traffic enforcement resources. The primary mission of this vehicle is to easily blend in with traffic and to cite dangerous behaviors such as distracted driving. Major Cummings encourages all motorists to “Keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.”  
  
Thanksgiving signifies the start of the holiday travel season and traffic volumes are expected to be heavy during this holiday weekend.  This increases the risk of highway crashes for everyone.  Major Cummings noted that state troopers in Western New York will be stepping up traffic enforcement during this holiday period to prevent needless highway tragedies.

Troopers throughout the Western New York region will be deployed in various enforcement capacities such as DWI saturations, roving patrols and stationary checkpoints. Troopers will be cognizant for drivers using cell phones as well as other electronic devices. Of course, speeders, impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up, and other traffic violators will also be cited, where appropriate.

Violators who are ticketed for distracted driving violations face a maximum fine of $100, along with a mandatory $60 surcharge and possibly points depending on the violation.