Motorists should not drink and drive or they may be getting a ticket instead of a treat for Halloween.
State and local police agencies will be increasing patrols in an effort to crack down on impaired drivers in advance of the holiday. The enforcement campaign begins on Friday, Oct .26, and will run through Thursday, Nov. 1.
“Our top priority is the safety of everyone on our roads – our goal is not to spoil anyone’s fun on Halloween,” Terri Egan, the Executive Commissioner of the DMV said. “We urge motorists to use extra caution, watch for children and their parents, and most important of all, never get behind the wheel if you are impaired. Pedestrians or anyone out trick-or-treating can make themselves more visible to motorists by wearing reflective clothing or carrying lights. No matter how you choose to celebrate, please do so responsibly.”
During the enforcement detail, there will be an increased number of sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols. Police will also be on the lookout for distracted drivers using their cell phones. There will also be stings targeting stores that are selling alcohol to minors.
According to police, troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law.
“CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is one of the more deadly nights due to an increased number of impaired drivers on the road.
From 2012 to 2016, there were 168 drunk driving fatalities reported. Of those fatalities, 14 percent involved drunk drivers who killed children and those accompanying children trick-or-treating.
During a similar detail last year, there were 1,593 crashes statewide, 226 of which involved injuries and one fatality. A total of 248 people were charged with DWI and more than 9,000 tickets were issued for speeding, distracted driving and other vehicle and traffic violations.
“We want everyone to have a happy Halloween, but we also want them to celebrate safely and responsibly. Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday, but it can turn deadly when someone makes the wrong choice to drink and drive,” New York State Police Superintendent George Beach II stated.
“Our message is simple: If you drink, don’t drive. Drivers should also exercise caution as children and their parents will be out walking our streets. Be mindful of the extra pedestrian traffic. Together, we can work together to make our roads safer for all who travel and walk them.”
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