There have been reports of an unusually high number of serious traffic accidents associated with using hand-held devices while operating a moving vehicle. A move by New York Govenor Cuomo to enforce ticketing of drivers using hand-held devices while driving has therefore been a politically popular move among Syracuse residents. An online press release from Governor Cuomo’s office reads “Governor Cuomo Outlines Second Operation Hang Up Campaign to Target Distracted Drivers.”
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on April 24 that in the first twelve hours of Operation Hang Up more than 150 drivers were ticketed for using hand-held devices. The Governor has launched the second Operation Hang Up campaign to target motorists who use their cell phone and other electronic devices while driving. This campaign began Monday, April 23, and will continue through Sunday, April 29, 2012. Furthermore, the Governor has also announced that in the first months of 2012, greater than 65,000 motorists have been ticketed for using an electronic device while driving.
Governor Cuomo has said “Operation Hang Up is designed to send a strong message to motorists across New York State that driving and using a hand-held device simply do not mix. We hear too many heartbreaking stories about how distracted driving leads to tragic consequences, and we must do everything in our power to ensure more lives are not unnecessarily lost because someone took their eyes off the road to use a phone.”
The first Operation Hang Up enhanced enforcement campaign took place over last year’s Thanksgiving Holiday, at which time the New York State Police ticketed more than 800 drivers. A Distracted Driving Enforcement Grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been used by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to fund Operation Hang Up campaigns. This grant allows the State Police to focus patrol resources on the issue of distracted driving while supplementing their conventional traffic safety and enforcement efforts. Similar enhanced enforcement periods are planned to be conducted in the future.
It has been shown by research that drivers talking on phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. In fact the behavior of such drivers can be equivalent to the behavior of drunk drivers at the threshold of the legal limit of .08 BAC. Last year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed more than 3,000 deaths to distracted driving, calling it a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways.
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico has said “Cell phones and electronic devices have become commonplace in our lives, but they do not belong in the hands of a driver. Operation Hang Up is designed to reinforce to drivers that these violations are taken seriously and will not be permitted in New York State. If you use a cell phone, electronic device, or are texting while driving, you should expect to receive a ticket from a New York State Trooper.” So everyone should wise up and stop using hand-held devices while driving.
Mandel News Service