NYPD launches crackdown on drivers using cell phones

Dray Clark reports on a new initiative aimed at stopping texting while driving, a top cause of accidents around the country (WABC)
May 13, 2014 6:23:29 AM PDT
It's time to put the cell phone away, as the NYPD is cracking down on distracted drivers.

Officers are on the lookout for those who are breaking the law while behind the wheel, going after drivers who talk or text while driving.

For two days this week, Tuesday and Friday, cops will aggressively pull over and ticket violators, as well as keep an eye out for drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians.

The crackdown is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan aimed at reducing traffic deaths.

The penalty for a first offense is anywhere from a $50 to $150 fine. That jumps to as much as $200 for a second offense with 18 months and $400 for a third offense.

The move coincides with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Operation Hang Up, which is designed to get drivers off their phones statewide.

Police say texting or talking on mobile devices continue to be growing problems despite the clear hazards.

Studies show that cell phone use and texting are responsible for a significant proportion of traffic crashes, injuries and deaths.