Press Release - 4-1-2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 31, 2022
GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES STATEWIDE DISTRACTED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN
Statewide Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign to Run April 4 through April 11
More than 34,000 Vehicle and Traffic Law Violation Tickets Issued During Last Year's Enforcement Campaign Including 1,671 tickets for Distracted Driving
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today announced that state and local law enforcement will be participating in the national "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." mobilization to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month nationwide. Law enforcement throughout the state will be stepping up patrols during this initiative, which runs from Monday, April 4, 2022 through Monday, April 11, 2022.
“Everyone who gets behind the wheel has a responsibility to their fellow drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to pay attention because the consequences of distracted driving can be devastating,” New York Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said. “New York proudly became the first state in the nation to prohibit cell phone use while driving and through this campaign, we continue to reinforce our message to drivers—keep your eyes and attention on the road.”
To help educate motorists about the dangers of distracted driving the GTSC will be utilizing a public service campaign this April. The campaign will be featured on social media, billboards, television, and radio. Today, the GTSC invited the press to the Emergency Vehicle Operator Course in Latham, New York to see firsthand the dangers of distracted driving.
During the 2021 campaign, law enforcement throughout the state issued 34,654 tickets for vehicle and traffic law violations, including 1,671 tickets for distracted driving. Full breakdown here:
|Violations||Number of Tickets|
|Move Over Law||220|
New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “Distracted Driving continues to be a leading factor in motor vehicle crashes. Yet, the deaths and injuries caused by distracted driving are 100 percent preventable. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings and consciously reduce distractions and behaviors that take their attention from the road. State Police will continue to work toward making New York’s roads safer and we will hold distracted drivers accountable.”
Chief of Ilion PD and President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police Timothy Parisi said, "Our members support and will actively participate in this statewide campaign. All too often we see the negative impacts that distracted driving causes in our communities. Bad decisions can cause tragic consequences! Help us keep our roadways safe. It can wait, don't drive distracted."
Livingston County Sheriff and President of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association Thomas Dougherty said, “Electronic devices can be useful and fun…but they can also cause dangerous distractions if used while driving. Drivers should use hands-free devices or connect their devices directly to the vehicle so their attention can be focused on the road. The Sheriffs of New York State want you to be safe on the road so Deputies will be on the lookout for distracted drivers.”
To help deter motorists from talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device, texting, or using an electronic device while driving, the state has set strict penalties. The penalties can range from $50 to $450 in fines, 5 driver violation points, and suspension or revocation of license.
According to preliminary data from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), driver inattention/distraction was a contributing factor in 107 fatal police-reported crashes in 2021. To help prevent tragedies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the following for motorists:
- If you must send or receive a text, pull over to a safe location and park your car first.
- If you have passengers, appoint a “designated texter” to handle all your texting.
- If you can’t resist the temptation to look at your phone, keep it in the trunk.
Combined with enforcement campaigns, GTSC coordinates various traffic safety activities throughout the year, and supports ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle safety. The GTSC also sponsors critical training for law enforcement, provides resources for teen drivers and their parents, and promotes seatbelt use statewide.