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Long IslandCrime

Police on Long Island cracking down on distracted-driving

State and county police on Long Island will be conducting a weeklong crackdown on distracted driving, officials said Friday.

The officials announced Operation Hang Up, running Friday through Wednesday, during a news conference at Troop L headquarters of the New York State Police in East Farmingdale.

“All police agencies will have a zero-tolerance policy for texting, talking and distracted driving,” the Troop L commander, Maj. David Candelaria, said.

“Drivers will notice an increased presence on our roadways with more police officers patrolling in marked and unmarked vehicles to specifically combat texting and cellphone use,” he said.

“We are pleading with the public: Please, when driving put down the phone, put down your GPS, buckle up and pay attention. It may save your life,” Candelaria added.

He was joined by Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini and Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.

The initiative, to be carried out across the state, will be funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, which said it provides year-round distracted driving enforcement funding to state police in the amount of $450,000.

That amount covers Operation Hang Up and year-round targeted enforcement for distracted driving, a spokesman said in an email.

Officials released statistics showing that there has been an 840 percent increase in tickets for texting while driving in New York State since 2011.

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