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Governor Hochul Announces Enhanced Patrols for July 4th Holiday to Ensure Road Safety

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced an increase in patrols by the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies to address drunk and drugged driving and other traffic violations over the upcoming July 4th holiday. This initiative aims to ensure the safety of New York’s highways during one of the busiest travel weekends of the summer.

Law enforcement statewide will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving. “State Police and local law enforcement agencies will once again be out on New York’s roadways this holiday weekend making sure they are safe for drivers and passengers,” Governor Hochul stated. “We want New Yorkers to have fun this holiday weekend, but we also want them to do so responsibly. We have no tolerance for drivers whose reckless actions endanger the lives of others.”

The campaign, funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), will commence at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, and will continue until midnight on Sunday, July 7, 2024.

To alleviate travel congestion, temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, to 6 a.m. on Monday, July 8. Additionally, construction-related lane closures on select Thruway projects will be paused starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3. Some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs, aligning with New York State’s Drivers First Initiative, which prioritizes motorist convenience.

New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James emphasized the importance of safety, especially during holidays. “Our members work vigilantly year-round to keep our roadways safe and intercept impaired and reckless drivers, and even more so during holiday periods when celebrations may include alcohol. While we want everyone to enjoy their Independence Day, we ask they do so responsibly by designating a sober driver if they have been drinking. Together, we can work to prevent senseless tragedies that are caused by impaired and reckless drivers.”

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder highlighted the importance of planning. “This is a weekend when so many of us will get together with family and friends to celebrate. That fun and joy should not be tempered by someone making a tragic mistake to drive while impaired or distracted. Make a plan to get to your destination safely and give yourself and your loved ones some peace of mind.”

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez assured that efforts are being made to minimize travel disruptions. “Travel delays can easily ruin your holiday and that’s why the New York State Department of Transportation fully supports Governor Hochul’s decision to suspend construction activities and temporary lane closures during the July 4th holiday. The safety and convenience of the traveling public are always NYSDOT’s top priorities, and we are doing all we can to ensure that New Yorkers get where they need to go safely and with a minimum of hassles this holiday.”

New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Frank G. Hoare reiterated the importance of safety and suspended construction activities. “Suspending construction activities over the July 4 holiday will help ease delays motorists may experience over this busy travel weekend. We urge motorists to make safety a top priority on their travels. Their lives, along with the safety of other motorists, emergency personnel, and our employees, depend on it.”

In the previous year’s enforcement period, law enforcement issued 35,104 tickets across the state, including over 1,200 for impaired driving, more than 1,000 for distracted driving, and over 7,000 for speeding. State Police alone issued 12,991 tickets, arrested 193 individuals for DWI, and investigated 949 crashes, including five fatalities.

Motorists are reminded to adhere to the state’s Move Over Law, expanded in March to include all vehicles stopped along the roadway. Text stops will remain open, providing safe locations for drivers to use their phones and other devices.

During the enforcement period, drivers can expect sobriety checkpoints and increased DWI patrols. Law enforcement will also be vigilant about motorists using electronic devices while driving. The New York State Police will utilize marked vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles to identify and address violations.

The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists of the “Have a Plan” mobile app, which helps locate taxis or rideshare services and provides information on DWI laws and penalties.

Governor Hochul’s initiative underscores a commitment to road safety and responsible driving during the holiday period. The collaboration between various state departments and law enforcement aims to prevent accidents and ensure a safe and enjoyable Independence Day for all New Yorkers.

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