2016-11-23 / Front Page

State Police Launch Holiday Driving Crackdown

By Liz Goff
Buckle up, or pay up, or go to jail. That’s a message police are sending to motorists and passengers throughout New York State who fail to comply with motor vehicle laws over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced that New York State police will be on local streets and highways this weekend, cracking down on motorists who drink and drive, use electronic devices while driving and those who fail to buckle up while behind the wheel

State police officials said troopers and officers assigned to the detail will “multi-task” and be on the lookout for drivers without seatbelts, drunk drivers, motorists talking or texting while driving and drivers who speed along local streets and highways.

The increased enforcement kicked-off on Wednesday, November 23 and will continue through Monday, November 28.

State police assigned to the crackdown will work with local police, putting a significant number of cops on streets and highways in he early morning hours and at closing time of most bars and nightclubs, on the lookout for drunk and distracted drivers, Cuomo said.

The crackdown will send officers to “hot spots” where the cops, who are trained to identify drunk drivers and administer Breathalyzer tests, will detain motorists at traffic checkpoints and quick stops, officials said.

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

Cops assigned to the crackdown have been 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, officials said.

Queens police officials this week reminded motorists to think before they get behind the wheel this holiday weekend. Officials said cops will nab drunk drivers, issue summonses for failure to use seat belts and will summons motorists who insist on talking or sending text messages on their cell phones while driving. Getting caught in the crackdown could also cost motorists points off their driver’s license, officials said.

“This is a change from the regular holiday driving crackdown,” a police source said. “NYPD officers will work with state police in this enforcement, and state police officials have made it clear that they mean business,” police officials said.


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