Press Release - 12-07-2018

DMV News

December 7, 2018

Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]

Tim O’Brien
[email protected]


Agencies Offer Tips to Promote Safety on Roadways and Keep Consumer Purchases Secure

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and New York State Police today urged New Yorkers to be safe and vigilant this holiday season. Whether out driving or shopping, both agencies offered tips to promote safety on the roadways and help consumers keep their purchases secure. 

Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner,said, “We want everyone to enjoy the holidays, and there are many easy steps you can take to avoid an unfortunate or even tragic incident this season. From properly securing a tree to the roof of your car to making plans to get home safely from a celebration, it only takes a few minutes and a few extra precautions to protect yourself, your loved ones, and others this time of year.”

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “By simply using common sense, the public can protect themselves from becoming a victim of a crime this holiday shopping season. Whether you shop small, at a big box store or mall this year, always be aware of your surroundings. Park in a well-lit area and make sure to lock your car and hide valuables or purchases from plain view. Be alert. Criminals are always looking for ways to take advantage of the unsuspecting.”  

State Police urged shoppers to be vigilant and offered the following additional tips:

  • Shop with a friend or in a group
  • If shopping alone, don’t be afraid to ask security to escort you to your car
  • Store purchases in the trunk of your vehicle, under a blanket or out of view
  • Do not leave valuables in your car
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your money and credit cards in a front pocket

For shoppers purchasing a real tree, DMV reminded New Yorkers to properly secure it before driving. The driver should have an unobstructed view out of all windows. Drivers can face penalties if an unsecured tree falls off their vehicle.

According to a 2017 AAA survey, an estimated 20 million Americans who purchased a real tree did not properly secure it to their vehicle. Failure to properly secure a tree risks dangerous road debris and damage to your vehicle and others.

Some motorists choose to decorate their vehicles for the holidays. DMV reminds motorists it is not legal to put decorative lights on your car, truck or SUV and doing so could lead to a ticket. Other decorations must be secured and not obscure the driver’s vision, the vehicle’s lights or the license plates.

In the event of snow during your travels, make sure to clear your vehicle. The snow should be fully removed from the front, rear and side windows, as well as the rear-view mirrors. It should also be removed from the roof and hoods so it does not suddenly slide down your windshield or blow off and obscure your view or the view of other motorists.

DMV provides winter driving tips both as you prepare for your journey and should you encounter snow or ice, including guidance on how to handle a skid. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) also offers advice for motorists on winter weather.

To check the weather and road conditions along your route, you can visit for up-to-the-minute information or you can call 511. Please do so before you leave, while at a text stop or with the assistance of a passenger, not while you are driving.

If you plan to go out celebrating for the holidays, DMV urges drivers to use the Have a Plan app to help determine a safe way to get home. The free app from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation allows you to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. You can even use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.

For more information about DMV, visit, or follow the DMV conversation online on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also follow the New York State Police on Facebook and Twitter.