11 June 2019

Major Richard L. Mazzone
Troop K Commander
Dutchess County, New York – On June 9, 2019, the New York State Police conducted a distracted driver enforcement operation in several localities within Dutchess County.

The operation was conducted in furtherance of our mission to ensure highway safety for all users of the roadway.  A total of 101 tickets were issued during the targeted enforcement period, 80 of which for speed related infractions, 4 for hand held devices, and 1 child restraint violation.

Under New York State law you cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or portable electronic device while you drive. Illegal activity includes holding a portable electronic device and
  • talking on a handheld mobile telephone
  • composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
  • viewing, taking, or transmitting images
  • playing games
If you use a portable electronic device while you drive (except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency), you can receive a traffic ticket and be subject to a fine and a surcharge.

Conviction of a cell phone use, portable electronic device use or a texting violation will also result in points being added to your DMV driving record.  If you receive 11 points in an 18 month period, your driver license may be suspended.  To learn more, see About the NY State Driver Point System.

Fines for texting and driving can be hefty.  Current New York State law includes the following penalties for distracted drivers: 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.   Probationary and junior drivers face a 120-day suspension of their license for a first offense, and one-year revocation of their permit or license if a second offense is committed within six months.

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