New York state troopers will be out in full force this long holiday weekend to crack down on impaired, distracted and speeding drivers, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The traffic enforcement detail will run from Wednesday, Nov. 25 -- Sunday, Nov. 29.
"State Troopers and local law enforcement will be out in force to help keep the roads safe and prevent needless tragedies during this busy holiday weekend," Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday, "I urge all drivers to keep (their) eyes on the road, follow the law and drive as safely as possible."
Troopers will supplement regular patrols statewide, focusing on speed enforcement, impaired driving, underage drinking and distracted driving, according to Cuomo. The effort will incorporate fixed sobriety checkpoints, an underage drinker initiative and the "Operation Hang Up" initiative, which targets drivers talking or texting on handheld devices.
The highest traffic levels of the year typically occur during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It also is a time when time when alcohol consumption is widespread. During the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday period, troopers arrested 172 drivers for DWI, issued 4,237 speeding tickets and issued 565 tickets for distracted driving.
State police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said, “We encourage all New Yorkers to join us in making this Thanksgiving a safe one. Please follow posted speed limits, make certain that all occupants are buckled up, and put away your smart phones and other mobile devices while driving. Remember, if you’re celebrating with alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel. Get a ride home with a sober driver or make other arrangements."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2013 there were 301 people killed in traffic crashes across the nation.
In New York, there were 11 deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes statewide during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2014. Of those, three were due to alcohol-related crashes, five were due to speed-related crashes and two resulted from crashes in which both speed and alcohol were reported as contributing factors.
The New York State Police, Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- Use your community’s sober ride program;
- Anyone who happens to see a drunk driver on the road, should not hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
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