Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 05, 2009

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

New York State Park Police Announce Traffic Safety Campaign To Help Keep Parks Safe and Save Lives

Safe Speeds - Safe Parks Initiative Encourages Motorists to Slow Down in Parks

The New York State Park Police are initiating a Safe Speeds - Safe Parks campaign to encourage motorists to obey the lower speed limits in most State Parks - speed limits designed to make sure that motor vehicles share the road safely with bicyclists, pedestrians, and other park users. The campaign is funded in part by a $27,280 grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC).

"The safety of our visitors is our highest priority," said State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash. "Our parks include major highways, bridges and hundreds of miles of roadways that are filled with people enjoying their leisure time. Our greatest concern is for the safety of children visiting our parks so I encourage all motorists to heed the speed limits in parks, buckle up and make sure your children are riding in an appropriate child safety seat."

"By actively enforcing speed limits - along with seatbelt, child safety seat, and DWI laws - we want to ensure the safety of our unique blend of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists," said State Park Police Chief Richard O'Donnell. "We hope this campaign will remind motorists to buckle up, slow down, and make sure they are not driving after drinking. The State Park Police will be out in force during both daylight and night-time hours to make sure that drivers and passengers take DWI, speed and seat-belt laws seriously."

"We are very pleased to partner with State Parks in this worthwhile campaign," said Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner David J. Swarts, who also chairs of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. "During the busy summer months, traffic safety is especially important. In addition to buckling up, motorists must also obey the lower speed limits that are posted throughout our parks and remember to share the road safely with others."

The campaign, which runs through September, will consist of increased speed limit enforcement, distribution of literature to the public at park entrances, and use of radar display trailers to alert motorists about their speeds and collect data about potential problem areas.

O'Donnell noted that State Park Police have also joined state and local law enforcement agencies and highway safety groups in supporting the Buckle Up New York seat belt enforcement campaign. Police will be ticketing unbelted vehicle occupants around the clock - night and day.

New York State Parks attracted 55 million visitors last year, and most of those visitors traveled to their favorite State Park by motor vehicle, and then enjoyed their visit there by walking, biking and utilizing the tremendous resources in State Parks.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit