Distracted driving program nets big rise arrests for Suffolk police

Distracted driving program nets big rise arrests for Suffolk police

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Suffolk County Police, in conjunction with state and local police on Long Island, conducted a month-long focused enforcement effort specifically targeting distracted driving between April 1 and April 30.

During the focused enforcement effort, Suffolk County police officers issued more than 930 citations for distracted driving violations, yielding a 117 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2015.

Suffolk County police officers responded to 3,320 crashes in April 2016, an 11.75 percent decrease for the same time period of 2015.

New York State Police Troop L issued 810 citations during the initiative, including 470 cell phone tickets, 314 texting tickets and 26 Move Over Law tickets.

The initiative specifically targeted motorists who were driving while distracted by texting or talking on mobile devices due to the strong correlation between these violations and motor vehicle crashes. Drivers who did not abide by New York’s Move Over Law were also cited.

This law protects law enforcement officers, emergency workers, tow and service vehicle operators and other maintenance workers stopped along roadways while performing their duties.

The initiative, which was funded by the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, was carried out across the state.

The additional police resources were funded through a $450,000 grant allocated to state police specifically for year-round distracted driving enforcement.