New York State Police recently launched a campaign to remind motorists that, at least in the Empire State, using cell phones and other handheld devices is prohibited. More than 3,000 tickets were issued across the state during Operation Hang Up, and more than 65,000 have been issued in 2012.
"We hear too many heartbreaking stories about how distracted driving leads to tragic consequences," Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the New York Daily News. "We must do everything in our power to ensure more lives are not unnecessarily lost because someone took their eyes off the road to use a phone."
In addition to paying a ticket, New Yorkers face a penalty of three points on their license for using a handheld device.
Drivers that use their phones are four times more likely to be involved in an accident, according to recent research, causing approximately the same danger on the roads as a drunk driver.
Thirty-eight states prohibit texting while driving, as well as Washington D.C. Ten states and D.C. ban the use of cell phones while driving. If you're unsure about the laws in your state or planning a road trip, it's best to consult a list like the one maintained by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Or better yet, just refrain from using your cell phone or handheld device until you're parked at your destination.