Governor Cuomo Sets Crackdown On Impaired And Distracted Drivers For Thanksgiving Weekend

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will crack down on impaired, distracted and speeding drivers during the Thanksgiving holiday. Governor Cuomo's administration set a special traffic enforcement period run from Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29, 2015.

New York --  Over 4,800 tickets have been issued during the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend and included in that number were 172 DWI arrests.   The State Police have supplemented regular statewide patrols to focus on speed enforcement, impaired driving, underage drinking, and distracted driving.  This effort of law enforcement will incorporate fixed sobriety checkpoints, an underage drinker initiative and the "Operation Hang Up" initiative, which targets drivers talking or texting on handheld devices.  State Police will use unmarked vehicles to blend in with everyday traffic although emergency lighting can be activated on the vehicles to identify drivers in violation of the law.  

Governor Cuomo stated, "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."  "I urge all drivers to keep your eye on the road, follow the law and drive as safely as possible."  

The highest traffic volumes in New York City is during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and alcohol consumption is widespread.  In 2014, State Troopers arrested 172 drivers for DWI, 4,237 speeding tickets and 565 tickets were issued for distracted driving.  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 2014, in New York there were 11 deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes statewide due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and of those deaths there were three due to alcohol-related crashes.  The other deaths were contributed to speed-related crashes.

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; 
· If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t 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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