NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The NYPD launched another crackdown on the use of hand held cell phones behind the wheel.
The enforcement began at midnight Tuesday.

This was the third crackdown in the last year and a half. The last time, officers pulled over more than 6,000 drivers within the 24-hour period and slapped each of those drivers with $130 fines. They also got a lecture from a police officer.

“Having one hand not on the wheel at any given time is dangerous. Everybody does it but in this case, it’s against the law,” said Eric Chaffer of th eNYPD.

The facts are there to support the lecture. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report found that at least a quarter of all car crashes were caused by distracted drivers, many using cell phones. Last year more than 995 deaths and 24,000 accidents were blamed on cell phone use.  Of those drivers involved in fatal crashes who were distracted, 30 to 39-year-olds were the most likely to have been using cell phones.

Despite the statistics, many of us are often guilty and in the last few crackdowns, many were unrepentant.

“I was on the way to my job site. I was kind of lost so I called my boss over at the site and they caught me. They’re just doing their job like I am trying to do mine,” said driver Mike Buanarobo.

“Had I known about the crackdown and had I seen my kids’ school calling, I would have picked up the phone regardless of the crackdown,” one woman said.

Comments (11)
  1. Jasper says:

    I’ll bet this was not enforced in jiwish areas

  2. fgt nga says:

    the law only says that you have to use a hands free phone or device (bluetooth). if you drive a car and have a cell phone, then there is no excuse for not having a bluetooth headset or speaker for your car. your a fool if you put a cell up to your ear in this day and age of technological advancement.

  3. Sue says:

    NYPD ought to give out 6,000 tickets all day, everyday, till this cell use stops. It is against the law…I am sick of New Yorkers who simply disregard any law they fell like disregarding and too bad for the rest of us cuz there just isn’t any police enforecement…IE: the cell phone ban…we need a “Tix Blitz”? I think NOT- it’s all the time, all over the city, at every red light in town…keep a heads up officers and get your tix book ready – GO!

  4. Anthony Grisafi says:

    $130 fine is not high enough! The fine for being caught should be raised to at least $500 (I don’t even know if this would be high enough to deter this activity)! This is an extremely dangerous activity that puts not only you at risk as a driver but others as well on the road!

  5. DanTe says:

    We don’t need the money. Just make it a one year jail sentence. Pass a law for criminally negligent attempted homicide or something. These brainless twits needs to be taken out. Preferably before they’d spawned and further contaminate the gene pool.

  6. joker says:

    I guess they need more moiney for overtime, lets breeak out the ticket books.

  7. scott says:

    You can’t talk on a cell and drive a car, But Ray Kelly the Police Commissioner of the NYPD can use his position to eat and drink at the Harvard Club for free, well actually the taxpayers have been footing the bill. I guess thats why the NYPD has changed the direction of the police from crime fighting and public safety to revenue generation. Ray needs to “Keep up appearances” .

  8. TOM M. says:


  9. Steve M. says:

    “Having one hand not on the wheel at any given time is dangerous. Everybody does it but in this case, it’s against the law,” said Eric Chaffer of th eNYPD……….Complete garbage! The assumption that drivers are ‘distracted’ is just that; an assumption.
    Apparently from what I’ve seen; police officers are exempt from this law while driving squad cars. …………..I guess they’re NOT distracted at all, and the rest of us are…

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