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Cell phone crackdown yields 3,000 tickets

SYRACUSE — Police issued more than 3,000 tickets during a two-state campaign against drivers texting and talking on cell phones.

The weeklong crackdowns in New York and Connecticut were part of a federal program testing the effects of more aggressive enforcement of laws against distracted driving. Authorities in Syracuse issued 2,185 tickets for cell phones and 115 for texting, while those in Hartford issued 1,100 for cell phones and 272 for texting.

There will be three similar enforcement pushes in each city over the next 11 months. Federal officials will then analyze the data with the goal of creating a national program to combat distracted driving.

National statistics show driver distraction is an element in 20 percent of crashes.