Put down your phone while driving â?? Ithaca Police crack down on distracted driving

Put down your phone or electronic device when you get behind the wheel. That's the message from Ithaca Police as start cracking down on distracted driving today.

The distracted driving initiative will take place through March 1. Police will be targeting drivers who don't use a hands free device and anyone who sends or receives text messages or emails while driving.

Police will have extra officers on the roads throughout the day and evening hours looking for distracted drivers. Drivers who are ticketed face a $150 fine and 3 points on your license.

Statistics show drivers who text are 23 times more likely to get into a crash.

The extra patrols are funded through the STEP Grant (Selective Traffic Enforcement Program), which Ithaca Police Department was awarded this year.

Click here for information on the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.