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Police statewide are increasing patrols to crack down on distracted driving

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ALBANY, New York — State and local police are increasing patrols and checkpoints statewide from April 10 to 15 to encourage drivers not to use their mobile phones.

Authorities say "Operation Hang Up" combines anti-texting and cell phone law enforcement with advertisements to let people know about the push and convince them to obey the law.

The first offense is a minimum fine of $50. That can increase to $400 for the third offense.

Beginning Nov. 1, young and new drivers found texting while driving will have their licenses suspended for 120 days on the first offense. A second offense will lead a year-long suspension.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,328 people were killed and an estimated 421,000 people injured in crashes involving distracted drivers during 2012.

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