Press Release-12-14-2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022    



The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and New York State Police today urged New Yorkers to be cautious and take steps to keep themselves safe while traveling and shopping this holiday season. Both agencies offered tips to promote traffic safety and help consumers keep their purchases secure.

“Help keep your holiday season cheerful by making smart and responsible decisions while driving,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) Chair. “Ensure safety for you and others sharing the road by not driving distracted, properly securing trees before transporting them and, as always, never driving impaired.”

DMV urges drivers who plan to go out celebrating during the holidays to use the Have a Plan app to help determine a safe way to get home. The free app from the GTSC 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 an impaired driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.

Additionally, the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' impaired driving enforcement campaign takes place December 15 to January 1. During that time, law enforcement officers statewide will be stepping up patrols.

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “It may sound simple, but whether you are shopping at a large mall or online, always be aware of your surroundings. If out shopping, protect your valuables and try to shop with others if you can. While shopping online, make sure you only shop on trusted websites and check your financial statements often. When traveling this holiday season, don’t drive drunk, impaired, or distracted and make sure your vehicle is prepared before leaving for your destination. By being alert and taking the appropriate precautions, you can help keep holiday shopping and travels safe for all.”

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

Motorists should make sure their vehicles are clear of snow before traveling. 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 the windshield or blow off and obscure the driver’s view or the view of other motorists.

DMV provides winter driving tips to help motorists prepare for travel and offers guidance should they encounter snow or ice, including how to handle a skid. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) also offers winter driving tips and suggests keeping emergency supplies in the vehicle.

New Yorkers purchasing a real tree for the holidays need to make sure it is properly secured 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.

Motorists are advised to check 511NY before traveling. The free travel information system is accessible 24 hours per day by calling 511 or visiting The service provides real-time traffic conditions and links to information about air, rail and transit services.

In regard to decorating a vehicle, DMV reminds motorists that it is not legal to put decorative lights on their 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.

For more information about DMV, visit, or follow DMV on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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