New York State Troopers are taking a page out of retailers’ holiday strategies and doubling down on the holiday season. But, while stores are handing out discounts and coupons, State Police are handing out traffic tickets and citations.
The latest blitz, in effect since December 12th and running through January 1st, falls under the umbrella of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign and will focus not only on DUI/DWI, but also distracted driving, seat belt offenses, and the “Move Over Law” (the requirement for drivers to switch out of the right lane when an emergency vehicle is stopped in the shoulder). We wouldn’t be surprised if this campaign also leads to a spike in speeding tickets.
Drivers can expect to see increased sobriety checkpoints on New York’s highways as well as additional marked and unmarked State Police vehicles patrolling major roadways. Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico stated, “Safety comes first for the New York State Police for our troopers and the drivers and passengers we serve on New York State’s roadways. We want everyone to have a happy holiday – but we also want you to have a safe one.”
The holiday season is a dangerous one for drivers with 1,689 road fatalities in 2012, including 26 drunk driving fatalities on Christmas Day alone. Those statistics led the State Police to hold their first holiday ticket blitz in 2013. That blitz resulted in over 38,000 tickets, including 11,000 speeding tickets, 1,500 distracted driving tickets, and 630 DWIs!
While road safety is certainly important, many critics argue that the frequent State Police ticket blitzes are nothing more than an income generator for New York State. The past six months have seen no fewer than 6 ticket blitzes during July 4th, early August, mid-August, late August, Halloween, and as recently as Thanksgiving.
A year-end blitz, much like a store’s year-end sale, is one last chance to hit target numbers. Although ticket quotas are illegal, there’s plenty of evidence that quotas exist at least in some capacity.
If you receive a traffic ticket anywhere in New York State this holiday season, Rosenblum Law’s experienced attorneys can help. Call us at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation.