Updated 04/28/2012 09:47 AM
State Police enforce cell phone law
New York State Police want people to know it's dangerous to text or talk on the phone while driving. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, troopers are cracking down on the problem during what they call Operation Hang Up and they say they're going to remain vigilant, because those who break the law are putting lives in danger.
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SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- Not even ten minutes into Operation Hang Up and the State Police spotted someone on their phone while driving.
"We're still finding no matter how much efforts we make to inform people, they continue to talk on cell phones and send text messages,” said Jason Hopf, NYSP Troop C Sergeant.
Three hours later, troopers pulled over more than 30 people on Friday who were texting or talking while driving on the Vestal Parkway.
"We're being aggressive trying to find people talking on cell phone and explain to them what the dangers are and unfortunately, we have to issue tickets for violating the law,” said Hopf.
Using an unmarked car called a CITE vehicle, officers were able to spot many law breakers. Then they radioed other troopers to make the traffic stops. Troopers say if you get stopped for using your phone while driving it can cost you a lot of money in fines and as many as three points on your license.
"Talking on your cell phone now or texting is points on your license now if you're convicted,” said Hopf.
Those who were pulled over and spoke to YNN off camera said texting or talking while driving isn't worth it and the state police couldn't agree more.
“We've had serious accidents occur from people talking on the phone,” said Hopf. “When you're that concentrated on the call, you're not paying attention to what is going on alongside you. We've had police pull up next to people and they continue to talk on the phone."
A habit that troopers say is truly dangerous.