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Gov. Cuomo Announces Holiday Crackdown On Distracted Driving

$1 Million Effort Will Feature Cops In Unmarked SUVs
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking in Manhattan, announces a July 4th crackdown on texting while driving - July 3, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking in Manhattan, announces a July 4th crackdown on texting while driving – July 3, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - New York State is going to step up enforcement of the ban on texting while driving this holiday weekend, Gov. Andew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

Cuomo’s holiday message to distracted drivers is “the State Police are going to be watching the road even when you’re not and especially when you’re not.”

The $1 million enforcement effort will include unmarked SUVs high enough so the cops can see into your car no matter how big it is, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported.

“They have a much higher platform than your average car and it allows our troopers to be able to observe violations more discreetly,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico.

“[Texting] has to stop when you get in the car and we have to change the behavior pattern that has people using that all the time,” Cuomo said. “It’s not pleasant, but enforcement works. How do we know it works? Seatbelts and drunk driving.”

For Cuomo, the effort to end texting while driving is personal.

“I was talking to one of my daughters about this, who’s a new driver. She’s a texting fiend because that’s what we do. And I was talking to her about this and she said ‘Oh, you know, Dad, everybody does it.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s against the law,’” Cuomo said. “But the laws are only as good as the enforcement.”

Texting while driving is now an offense that carries a five-point license penalty and suspensions for new drivers.
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