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State & local police to crack down on speeding, impaired driving over Columbus Day Weekend


Fri, Oct 8th 2021 09:50 pm

Enforcement period to run Oct. 7-12, target unsafe driving behaviors through holiday weekend

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced the New York State Police will team up with local law enforcement on special traffic enforcement efforts for Columbus Day weekend, cracking down on speeding and impaired motorists. The campaign began Thursday and will run through Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Troopers expect increased traffic volumes due to the holiday weekend and fall tourism, which pose additional risks on roadways. This enforcement detail will take place in Western New York (Troop A), North Country (Troop B), Syracuse region (Troop D), the Catskills (Troop F) and the Capital Region (Troop G).

"The tragic consequences of impaired and reckless driving can be avoided if we all make safety our top priority behind the wheel," Hochul said. "I join with law enforcement to remind all drivers to obey posted speed limits, move over for emergency and maintenance vehicles, and never drive impaired. By acting responsibly, we can help prevent the senseless tragedies on our roads."

Motorists who are traveling this weekend can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols. Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to "move over" for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and concealed identity traffic enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic, but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "During this campaign, State Troopers and our law enforcement partners will be highly visible and looking for motorists driving in an unsafe manner. As always, we will have zero tolerance for those who endanger others by driving recklessly."

Mark J.F. Schroeder, commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), said, "Speeding and impaired driving are reckless behaviors that are 100% avoidable and put everyone sharing the road in danger. I also thank our partners in law enforcement for their commitment in ensuring safety on our roadways."

During last year's Columbus Day enforcement period, State Police and local law enforcement issued 44,016 total tickets, including 11,618 for speeding and 941 for impaired driving.

The State Police are reminding all motorists to be safe, don't drink and drive, stay off mobile phones while driving, obey speed limits, and buckle up all occupants. The main goal of this initiative is to deter unsafe driving behaviors and raise awareness of the importance of traffic safety.

This initiative is partially funded by the GTSC. It and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation reminds motorists the "Have a Plan" mobile app is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to even report a suspected impaired driver.

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