Troopers Look to Peek in on Texters

New York State is giving troopers a leg up on those who text and drive - by putting officers in tall, unmarked SUVs.

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by Associated Press

MOUNT PLEASANT, NY- New York State is giving troopers a leg up on those who text and drive - by putting officers in tall, unmarked SUVs.

The bigger vehicles give police the chance to peer down at cars near them to see if drivers are holding a cellphone in their hands as they tool about on the road.

It's part of one of the nation's most aggressive efforts to crack down on distracted drivers.

New York is also imposing steeper penalties for those who text or stare at hand-held GPS while behind the wheel. At the same time, the state has set up dozens of highway "Texting Zones," where motorists can pull over to use their devices.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that at any moment during daylight hours, 660,000 drivers in the United States are texting, using cellphones or otherwise manipulating electronic devices. Lives are at stake, too: authorities say more than 3,300 people were killed and 421,000 injured in crashes caused by distracted driving last year.

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