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Nearly 800 tickets for cellphones issued in north country in 2012

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Police have issued nearly 800 tickets for using handheld devices while driving in Northern New York in 2012, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office said Tuesday.

Police issued 578 tickets in St. Lawrence County, 43 tickets in Lewis County and 175 tickets in Jefferson County since the start of the year.

Statewide, authorities are boosting their enforcement of texting-while-driving laws that were instituted in 2011. The initiative period, which started Tuesday, lasts until Sunday. The first 12 hours of the effort yielded 150 tickets, Mr. Cuomo’s office said.

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