If you are out on the road this week, you almost certainly will see a police officer pulling someone over. It's the biggest crackdown in recent memory, designed to get everyone to put down cell phones while driving.
Police are looking out for people talking on their cell phone or sending a text message while driving.
From last Thursday through the weekend, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department says it issued 442 traffic tickets. There were 265 for talking behind the wheel, and one was for texting. In the city of Syracuse, police handed out 512 tickets for cell phone violations. And 51 tickets were for texting and driving.
No excuses, no tolerance. It doesn''t take long on a drive with Syracuse Police to find someone who is not following the law. "If you have the cell and it's in your hand and in the vicinity of your face then you can be pulled over and stopped," says Syracuse Police Captain Shannon Trice.
Captain Trice is part of a massive ten-day crackdown on texters, talkers, or anyone with their hand on a cell phone. The money comes from the Federal Government - $300,000 to cover overtime so police can enforce a law they normally don't have the resources to. The money applies to State Police, the Sheriff's Department and Syracuse Police. Law enforcement sets up checkpoints or patrols to catch someone on the phone.
Trice says, "People have the feeling 'I can do this even though there's law against it.' But now that we're enforcing it we're hoping to get the message out 'Hey, it's not okay to do this.'"
If you're caught, you face up to $100 for talking on the phone, or up to $150 for typing a text message.
The no tolerance crackdown ends this weekend, but the law doesn't. So if you will be out driving, be sure to put the cell phone down.