2014-05-28 / Front Page

NYPD Launches Summer ‘Vision Zero’ Enforcement

By Liz Goff
Summer’s back – and so is increased enforcement of driving and traffic rules by the NYPD.

Police from the Queens Highway Patrol Unit and Borough Task Force cops hit the streets this week in the kickoff of the NYPD’s annual summer crackdown on drunk driving.

The offensive dubbed, “Operation Cold Sober,” targets motorists who get behind the wheel after a night out at local clubs and taverns, police said.

The initiative puts a “significant number” of cops on the street after the 4 a.m. closing time of most Queens bars and nightclubs, on the lookout for drunk drivers, police sources said.

The crackdown is sending Highway Patrol and Borough Task Force cops to “hot spots” where the cops, who are trained to identify drunk drivers and administer Breathalyzer tests, will detain motorists at traffic checkpoints, the sources said.

Police officials said the stepped-up enforcement is necessary to catch drunk drivers in the early morning hours, “when they are finished partying for the night.”

Cops assigned to both specialized units are trained to identify drunk drivers by observing a motorists’ demeanor, how he or she is handling a vehicle and by engaging in conversation with the motorist to determine motor skills and if he or she is slurring their words, police sources said.

Police at the 114th Precinct this week issued their own warning to motorists who drink and drive. Precinct officials said cops will establish checkpoints throughout the area to nab drunk drivers, issue summonses to motorists who fail to wear seat belts and those who insist on talking or sending text messages on electronic devices while driving.

Police officials said Operation Cold Sober, along with seat belt, cell phone, iPhone and Smart Phone enforcement, would continue on weekends and holidays through Labor Day.

Police officials are urging Queens residents to report unsafe or chronic traffic safety issues to their local precinct Community Affairs Officer. Complaints and suggestions will be included in NYPD enforcement criteria gathered under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” traffic safety plan.

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