Police target cell phone users during latest distracted driving crackdown

Alex Zhovkliy hangs up his phone quickly but not before being spotted by Syracuse Police Officer David Metz.

"I don't usually do it," he said. "It is dangerous, you're taking your eyes off the road and I don't think anybody should be doing it," said Zhovkliy. Which is why police are trying to curb the habit.

Right now, Law Enforcement across Onondaga County is cracking down on drivers using their cell phones behind the wheel. Friday night, officers in Syracuse are on the lookout in both marked and unmarked vehicles. They will be focusing on catching people on their cell phones throughout the month.

"Probably about half of the people out there driving are talking on their cell phones," said Syracuse Police Captain Shannon Trice.

Last time there was a cell phone crackdown, Syracuse Police wrote 6,000 tickets in just two weeks.

For dialing drivers, they are making a costly phone call. If you get caught on the phone, you could face a fine of $100 to $150 and up to 2 points on your license.

Statistics also show drivers distracted by a cell phone are 23 times more likely to crash. "There has actually been a study done that correlates talking on a cell phone with a .08 blood alcohol level. So its very dangerous," said Capt. Trice.

It's a mistake that many people make. But police are hoping a ticket will be a wake up call for drivers to keep their eyes off the phone and on the road. The crackdown runs through April.