Hudson Valley drivers will likely see more cars pulled over for drivers who are distracted by their phones.

On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide crackdown on distracted driving as part of April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The crackdown, called Operation Hang Up, is a special enforcement effort to step up patrols and checkpoints targeting drivers on electronic devices until April 10.

New York State saw a 918 increase in tickets for texting while driving from 2011 to 2016, according to the governor’s office.

While tickets for cell phone use continue to decline, smartphones are causing texting tickets to rise every year since 2011, officials say.

"Distracted driving is dangerous and illegal, and with this crackdown we are once again sending the message that making calls or texting behind the wheel will not be tolerated in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "State Police and local law enforcement will be out in force to ensure our roadways are safe, and I urge all drivers to act responsibly and put their devices down to prevent tragedy and heartbreak."

About 3,500 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research learned that distracted drivers in New York in 2015 killed 160 people and led to over 33,00 injuries.

Troopers will be using both marked vehicles and concealed vehicles as part of the operation.

Distracted Driving Tickets Issued in New York: Source Governor's Office 

Year Cell Phone Texting Total Tickets
2016* 113,116 92,097 205,213
2015 132,245 84,794 217,039
2014 165,087 76,208 241,295
2013 208,508 55,718 264,226
2012 217,329 30,370 247,699
2011 248,801 9,043 257,844


* Final counts for 2016 will be available in May 2017.

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