( release ) The fifth phase of “Operation Hang Up,” a stepped up, four-day enforcement of the state law prohibiting the use of cell phones, was announced by the New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Police Troop T. The initiative will begin Monday, April 11, and continue through Thursday, April 14.
“Enforcement activities such as ‘Operation Hang Up’ have helped make the Thruway one of the safest roads nationwide,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer. “Increased cell phone use everywhere heightens the need to remind people that cell phones can become a dangerous distraction for motorists when driving. The Thruway Authority and Troop T will continue to drive home the simple message that cell phone use can be a distraction and a safety risk on the road,” said Fleischer.
Over the four-day “Operation Hang Up” initiative in Spring 2010, members of Troop T issued 879 tickets to Thruway motorists violating the cell phone law. During the entire year, 2010, members of Troop T issued a total of 8,172 tickets to Thruway motorists violating the cell phone law.
“Distracted drivers are hazards to all motorists. Members of Troop T are aware that cell phone usage is a common form of driver distraction and aggressively enforce this violation,” said Troop T Commander Major Robert C. Meyers. “Operation Hang Up is a concentrated enforcement effort that will reinforce to the motoring public that these violations are taken seriously and will not be permitted.”
New York State law prohibits the use of a hand-held mobile telephone while one is driving, except to call 911 or to contact fire, medical or police personnel about an emergency. Violators who are ticketed face a maximum fine of $100, along with a mandatory $60 surcharge.
It is also illegal in New York State to text message on a hand-held device while driving a motor vehicle, since November 1, 2009. The same law prohibits surfing the Internet and playing computer games while driving. The maximum fine is $150.