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State Police Schedule 'Operation Hang Up'

During Thanksgiving Week New York State Police will pay special attention to drivers who use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. They are calling it “Operation Hang Up.”

Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that drivers using hand held devices (phones, blackberries, etc.) are four time more likely to be involved in serious accidents. Major Michael Kopy of the Troop K Barracks in Poughkeepsie points out that a vehicle traveling at average highway speed covers the length of a football field in three seconds, leaving little time to correct an error. He also said dangers are even greater during the holiday season because the roads are more crowded.

In an unrelated incident, Deputy Sheriff John Kerwick stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in Southeast on November 17 at 10:43 p.m. Subsequent investigation determined that the driver, Jason McGrinder, 28, of Red Hook, and his passenger, Cathryn Deak, 26, of Croton Falls were in possession of a pound of marijuana.

They were processed at Putnam County Correctional Facility and held pending arraignment. If found guilty of felony charges, each could face up to seven years in a New York State Correctional Facility and a fine of up to $5,000.

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