Texting-while-driving infractions will prove costly to more than 800 New York motorists who were ticketed by State Police during a crackdown over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The governor's office said Thursday that 816 tickets for texting-while-driving violations were handed out over the weekend. Approximately 330 of the tickets were issued as a direct result of "Operation Hang-Up," an enhanced enforcement campaign that was conducted from Nov. 23-27. The additional tickets were issued by troopers during regular patrol duties.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law last July to strengthen enforcement of texting-while-driving violations. In the period from January to June, before the law took hold, a monthly average of 429 tickets were issued to motorists for using a handheld electronic device while driving. Since the new law was signed, at least 1,000 tickets have been issued each month.
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.