Pilot program cracks down on drivers with 'Phone in One Hand'

The Department of Transportation on April 8 began the first wave of a two-year, two-state pilot program and law enforcement effort to catch drivers who violate laws banning the use of handheld cell phones and text messaging while driving.

According to a DOT press release, police officers in Syracuse, NY, and Hartford, CT, are taking part in the campaign. "Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other." is the nation's first federally funded law enforcement pilot program and campaign to catch drivers violating cell phone bans. The first wave ends April 17; subsequent enforcement waves will occur July 22-31 and Oct. 7-16 this year and April 7-16 in 2011.

Drivers caught texting or talking on a handheld cell phone will be pulled over and ticketed. DOT officials said researchers will study results of the enforcement pilot program to analyze changes in attitudes and behavior.

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