Law enforcement prepares to crack down on speeding

By Anna Norris

Law enforcement prepares to crack down on speeding

April 16, 2014 Updated Apr 16, 2014 at 3:07 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Those planning to hit the road this week should pay extra attention to the speed limit.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York State Police will conduct a week-long initiative targeting speeding and aggressive drivers across the state.

The “Speed Week” campaign runs from April 17 through April 24.

Speeding causes approximately one third of all fatal crashes each year.

“Too often families are forced to endure needless heartache as a result of reckless driving,” said Governor Cuomo. “During Speed Week, State Police will be out in force across New York cracking down on drivers who break the law, putting themselves and others at risk. This week and every week, I urge drivers to slow down and adhere to the vital and lifesaving rules of the road.”

The goal of this campaign, along with police enforcement year round, is to reduce speed-related crashes and improve safe travel on New York’s roads. Speeding by all vehicle types, as well as other traffic violations, will be heavily enforced throughout the week.

Fines for speeding and aggressive driving in New York can reach nearly $1,000 and add up to 11 points on a driver’s license.

Troopers will also be watching for people who are not properly buckled up, drivers that are violating the “Move Over Law,” and distracted or impaired drivers.

To intensify the efforts to stop texting and driving by young drivers, this year’s state budget includes special legislation.

According to the state, young and new drivers convicted of texting while driving will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense, and revoked for at least one year on the second offense.

“Drivers can prevent needless deaths and injuries by simply slowing down,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said. “Our Troopers are out there on New York roadways doing their part to keep the streets safe, and the public can too. By following posted speed limits and watching their speed, drivers will increase their chances of making it to their destination safely.”

Drivers can expect to see more troopers on major highways during Speed Week. Unmarked patrol vehicles will also be out in force.

State police expressed that there is a difference between aggressive driving and "road rage." Road rage, such as using the vehicle as a weapon or physically assaulting a driver or their vehicle, is a criminal offense.

Aggressive driving behaviors that troopers will be targeting include:
• Excessive speed
• Frequent or unsafe lane changes
• Failure to signal
• Tailgating
• Failure to yield the right of way
• Disregarding traffic controls
• Impaired driving
• Cell phone/electronic device use

Governor Cuomo also offered tips to follow when encountering an aggressive driver:
• Remain calm
• Keep your distance
• Do not pass unless you have to
• Change lanes once it is safe

During the last year’s Speed Week, from August 10, 2013 to August 17, 2013, State Police issued more than 9,600 tickets. Fines for speeding ranged from $45 to $975 and three to 11 points, depending on the rate of speed.

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