In an effort to prevent highway tragedies during the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend, State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico, announced troopers will initiate special traffic enforcement efforts beginning Wednesday.
“The Holiday Season is a special time for families and friends, and getting there safely needs to be the primary focus of every driver on the road,” said D’Amico. “With the high traffic volumes we anticipate, the stakes are just too high. So we are redoubling our efforts to minimize tragedies.”
The State Police will supplement regular road patrols with additional details statewide focusing on aggressive driving behaviors, impaired driving, phone use and texting. The effort will incorporate sobriety checkpoints and dedicated DWI roving patrols, as well as an “Operation Hang-up” initiative, which utilizes covertly marked patrol vehicles to apprehend drivers talking on the phone or texting.
The highest traffic volumes of the year typically occur during the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. It is also a period when alcohol consumption is widespread. Troopers are reminding all motorists to avoid being victims of highway emergencies by designating sober drivers, making a commitment to not use mobile phones while driving, and buckling up all occupants. Travel preparation should include plenty of rest before departing, and anticipating busy roads and highways.
“Holiday travel should never be taken lightly and the better motorists are prepared, the less likely they are to speed, drive aggressively, fall asleep or be the victim of a crash or other highway emergency.” said D’Amico. “For those who choose to jeopardize safety, we are increasing the likelihood they will encounter a trooper along the way.”
During the 2011 Thanksgiving Holiday period, troopers issued 4,353 speeding tickets and arrested 277 drivers for DWI. The addition of Operation Hang-up to the enforcement emphasis this year is intended to deter those who might be inclined to utilize hand held devices despite expected high traffic volumes.
During the last Operation Hang-up initiative in April 2012, troopers issued more than 3,000 tickets for phone and texting violations. “Our troopers are committed to making New York’s highways as safe as possible to ensure that the holidays will be enjoyable for New York’s families,” said D’Amico.