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Increasing number of distracted drivers on the road

13 April 2018

The New York State Police have launched a statewide crackdown on distracted driving, as part of April's designation as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Operation Hang Up is a special enforcement effort to step up patrols and checkpoints.

During the last campaign from April 8, 2017 to April 13, 2017, State Police issued more than 2,000 tickets for distracted driving.

Since the effort began in 2011, police said they have noticed that the number of summonses for cellphone use has declined each year as hands-free technology becomes more prevalent.

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According to the National Safety Council, a person is injured in a auto crash every seven seconds, and someone is killed in a vehicle crash every 15 minutes.

Cell phone use can be habit-forming.

A new report issued by indicates that 138 million American adults willing admit to "driving while distracted", which includes talking on the phone, speeding, and driving while worn out. In addition, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, in 2015, 160 persons were killed and more than 33,000 persons were injured in crashes in NY that had "driver inattention/distraction" reported as a contributing factor. "Changing these unsafe habits will help make our roadways safer for everyone".

Millennials are the most likely to be distracted while driving, with only 35.4% saying they concentrate while driving, compared to 38.1% of Gen Xers and 46.1% of Baby Boomers. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released fatal traffic crash data for calendar year 2016.

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Traffic officers have issued hundreds of thousands of citations over the past three years to those texting or calling on a hand-held cell phone.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of Text Stops in September 2013, expanding upon the state's efforts to reduce distracted driving by highlighting places for motorists to pull off the highway, park and use their mobile devices. Your radio or navigation system can take your attention off the road you if you aren't cautious.

"We know all too well that using cell phones to talk or text while driving is one of the most risky driving behaviors that we're now battling", said Egan.

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Increasing number of distracted drivers on the road