Troopers Enforce Texting-While-Driving law

December 2, 2011 Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Troopers Enforce Texting-While-Driving law

December 2, 2011 Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM EDT

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.

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