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New York State Sees 840% Increase in Texting While Driving Tickets

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York State has seen an 840% increase in texting while driving tickets.

The announcement was made in conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Operation Hang Up, a high-visibility distracted driving crackdown coordinated by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and carried out by the New York State Police and local law enforcement, which ran from April 8 to April 13.

Increased efforts by state and local law enforcement resulted in the 840% increase in the state since 2011. The number of cellphone tickets have decreased each year since 2011.

“There is zero tolerance for distracted driving and State Police will be out in force to crack down on this dangerous behavior,”Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “By keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, we can help prevent needless tragedies and make this a safer New York.”

In 2011, Cuomo increased the number of points for a texting while driving infraction from two points to three points. In 2015 he increased it to five points. Drivers also face fines up to $450.

Cuomo also signed a law with substantial penalties for probationary and junior drivers who are caught texting and diving. They face up to a 120 day suspension for a first offense, and can lose their license for one year if a second offense is committed within six months.

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