CAPITAL DISTRICT State Police issued 2,023 traffic tickets during its weeklong heightened traffic enforcement of the “Move Over Law” and speeding limits.
Major Steven James, State Police Troop G Commander, announced the results Monday, April 8, of the 7-day enforcement initiative that started April 1. James said of the more than 2,000 tickets issued, there were 801 speeding tickets and 38 tickets for failure to move-over for emergency or hazard vehicles. State Police also made 39 arrests for impaired driving related offenses, 79 tickets for texting or using a mobile phone and issued 112 tickets for seatbelt violations.
“No one likes to get a ticket, and frankly, we don't like to have to give them," James said in a statement. "However, unsafe speed remains one of the leading contributing factors in motor vehicle fatal crashes. And tragedies involving emergency workers on highways where other motorists collide with them are nearly always preventable"
Troop G also investigated 132 motor vehicle collisions, with 41 attributed to unsafe speed. Of those incidents, nine crashes resulted in injuries during last week.
Speed is a leading cause of roadway fatalities and is a significant threat to law enforcement and emergency workers, according to police. The initiative was meant to highlight the need to follow speed limits and move-over for emergency and hazard vehicles.
April marks the start of major highway construction projects throughout the area. Police said the month typically is beginning of an annual upwards trend in motor vehicle crashes, which remains higher throughout the summer.
Police said increased speed reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases how far a vehicle must travel before stopping. Collisions involving speeding vehicles often result in death, serious injuries and significant property damage, according to police.
In 2011, State Police issued 13,692 tickets for violations of the “Move Over Law,” which become effective in January 2011.
Last year, the law was amended to create two sections, with one for emergency vehicles and another for hazard vehicles, which includes vehicles with “amber lights,” such as tow services or maintenance workers.
Motorists must reduce speed on any road when approaching such vehicles, but on multiple lane roadways drivers are also required to move from the lane adjacent to the vehicle. Drives do not have to move from their lane if it can’t be done safely.