Texting While Driving Tickets Continue to Increase in NY

Authorities wrote more than 85,000 tickets for texting while driving in 2015

The number of drivers issued a ticket for talking on a hand-held cellphone is dropping in New York state - though more people than ever are being caught texting while behind the wheel.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that the number of tickets issued to people violating the state's ban on texting while driving has increased by 840 percent since 2011.

Drivers received 132,000 tickets in 2015 for talking on a hand-held cellphone, down from nearly 250,000 tickets in 2011.

Tickets for texting while driving have shot up from 9,000 in 2011 to nearly 85,000 last year as smartphones became more common.

State police will conduct stepped-up enforcement of the ban on texting while driving starting Friday and lasting through Wednesday.

First-time offenders can face fines of up to $200.

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