Operation Hang Up targets distracted drivers

** FILE ** An unidentifed man talks on his cell phone as he drives along Route 1 in Lawrenceville, N.J., Thursday, June 24, 2004. New Jersey's ban on cell phone use by drivers goes into full effect July 1, but police still can't pull somebody over simply for chattering away while going down the road. Those talking on hand-held cell phones while behind the wheel could be fined up to $250, but only if they are stopped for another driving infraction. ((AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer, File))

April 25, 2012 2:42:51 PM PDT
New York State Police are really cracking down on distracted driving, especially those who use cell phones.

So far this year, they've issued more than 65,000 tickets for using handheld devices.

This week, they're stepping up enforcement with "Operation Hang Up."

During its first day on Monday, troopers ticketed more than 150 drivers in the first 12 hours. One officer in Ulster County wrote up eight different drivers in just one hour.

Trooper Brad Malloy wrote up three drivers in the first 20 minutes he was on patrol on Wednesday. This is the second time in less than six months state police are focusing on drivers who use their cell phones.

The law is enforced year round, but during these special periods, federal funds are available to pay for overtime, which translates to extra eyes on the road.

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