New York State Police and City of Ithaca Police joined forces on Tuesday (November 13) to tackle the issue of distracted driving in the City of Ithaca.
Troopers and officers from the Ithaca Police Department issued a total of 27 tickets Tuesday, 20 of them for using an electronic device or texting while driving.
Fines for texting and driving offenders can be hefty.
For a first offense, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum is $200. A second offense in 18 months increases the maximum fine to $250. A third offense in 18 months results in a maximum fine of $450.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,400 people were killed nationwide in 2016 in crashes caused by distracted driving.
Additionally, a different study conducted by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research says that in 2015, 160 people were killed and more than 33,000 injured in crashes in New York that had “driver inattention/distraction” reported as a contributing factor.
The same report noted that 21 to 22 percent of police-reported fatal and personal injury crashes had “driver inattention/distraction” reported as a contributing factor each year.