WOODBURY - Police are on the lookout for drivers who use their phones behind the wheel in a new crackdown that's been dubbed "Operation Hang Up."
News 12's Andrew Ehinger rode along with state troopers patrolling for people who text or chat on their phones while driving. Police say they’ve even found people using tablets behind the wheel.
State police are using both marked and unmarked vehicles in their search for distracted drivers. First-time offenders could face a fine of $200 and up to five points on their license.
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The statewide crackdown on distracted driving is part of April's designation as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,000 people were killed and 424,000 people were injured in the U.S. in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2013.
Officials say that tickets issued for texting while driving were up 35 percent statewide in 2014 compared to the previous year.