Tickets for texting and driving have increased 35%.
Last year, State Police handed out over 75 thousand citations for texting while driving, compared to nearly 56 thousand in 2013. Since 2011, when New York State first enacted tough driving while texting laws, tickets have increased more than 700 percent.
Under current New York State law, motorists caught texting and driving face up to a $450 fine and five points on their license. Probationary and junior drivers could face a 120 day suspension for a first offense and can lose their license for one year if a second offense is committed within six months.
Last week, police agencies kicked off the latest Operation Hang Up initiative. Extra police patrols are looking for drivers using cell phones behind the wheel. The increased patrols continue through Wednesday.