Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 30, 2010

Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

New York State Park Police Announces July Crackdown on Drunk Drivers, Speeding, and Seat Belt Use

The New York State Park Police today announced that its officers will be out in full force during the Fourth of July holiday period, cracking down on drunk or drug impaired drivers with an aggressive enforcement effort.

"Driving while drunk or impaired by drugs isn't worth the tremendous risk. If you've had too much holiday spirit, you'd better find a safe and sober ride home, or your chances of arrest are high," said Chief Richard O'Donnell, Director of Law Enforcement for the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

"Too many people still fail to understand that alcohol and driving don't mix. Impaired driving is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime" said Chief O'Donnell. State Park Police officers will be using sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols to detect impaired drivers.

Much of the tragedy from drunk driving can be prevented with a few simple precautions before going out to celebrate:

  • Plan a safe way home before your festivities begin and designate a sober driver;
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

The State Park Police will build on the impaired driving effort with two other campaigns during July.

A summer long Safe Speeds –Safe Parks Campaign during which State Park Police Officers will aggressively target speeding drivers in Parks and areas previously identified as problem speed areas. State Parks include every type of roadway from multi-lane highways to single lane roads. Our parks are full of motorists and pedestrians. We are particularly concerned for the safety of children who are on foot or riding in vehicles. Officers will be enforcing speed limits and looking for reckless or aggressive drivers who endanger other park users.

We are also participating in the Buckle Up New York Campaign, July 12 -25.

"We know from experience that the three problems of impaired driving, speeding and not using safety restraints or child safety seats are significant causes of traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. In targeting these three areas throughout the summer season, our goal is to ensure that visitors to State Parks safely enjoy their trips to our beautiful parks and facilities across the State", said Chief O'Donnell.

Motorists traveling to State parks are reminded that seatbelt and child safety seat laws apply to all travelers including large group outings. Children riding in cars without the appropriate child safety restraint or seatbelt are at risk of injury or death. Operators of vehicles with unrestrained children will be ticketed.

"No matter where you drive, plan for a safe summer - if you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested," said Chief O'Donnell

The New York State Park Police will be conducting these enforcement efforts in cooperation with other law enforcement organizations, the Governor's Traffic Safety Council and the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

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