Albany, NY - August 25, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that police agencies across New York State issued 1,285 tickets and 1,416 warnings to drivers and pedestrians as the result of a pedestrian safety enforcement campaign. The enforcement period ran from June 20 through July 3 as part of a $110 million comprehensive pedestrian safety initiative.
“This multi-pronged effort is setting new standards that will help make our roadways safer for motorists and pedestrians alike,” Governor Cuomo said. “I commend the law enforcement agencies in these 26 counties for partnering with us in this important initiative, and for their continued vigilance and tireless work to protect all New Yorkers.”
During the two-week campaign, which was funded by grants from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, local police agencies in 26 communities across Upstate New York and Long Island patrolled busy pedestrian corridors, handing out warning notices, tickets and informative tip cards to both motorists and pedestrians found violating the law.
Police issued 1,416 warnings to both pedestrians and motorists and issued 520 tickets for pedestrian safety related offenses and 765 tickets for other offenses. Police also provided information to pedestrians and motorists, with the Suffolk County Police Department handing out 3,000 pieces of pedestrian safety information and the Buffalo Police Department handing out 1,500 pieces during the two-week blitz.
The safety education campaign emphasizes the “See! Be Seen!” message for driver and pedestrian awareness.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “We are committed to doing all we can to improve road safety – especially for pedestrians, our most vulnerable users – but we cannot do it alone. By leading the effort to enforce pedestrian safety laws, Governor Cuomo is helping transform our neighborhoods into more walkable communities and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers.”
The enforcement blitz is one part of a campaign to proactively address widespread safety issues through the Three E’s – engineering, enforcement and education. The initiative, being implemented cooperatively by the State Department of Transportation, Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and State Department of Health, includes the creation of an in-depth Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Data analysis found that approximately 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 are injured by motor vehicles each year in New York State.
The multi-agency approach to improving pedestrian safety calls for the following:
- DOT will work to minimize the potential for pedestrian crashes by implementing low-cost countermeasures at 2,000 crosswalks without traffic signals and 2,400 signalized intersections.
- GTSC will provide education for law enforcement and organize annual pedestrian safety law enforcement blitzes.
- DOH will develop public service announcements, engage local traffic safety boards, schools and others in public outreach, and provide training for safety organizations.
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting GTSC Chair Terri Egan said, “Pedestrians and motorists need to work together to mitigate risks and reduce crashes on New York’s roadways, which is why this enforcement campaign launched by Governor Cuomo is so vital to our traffic safety efforts. Working together, we are raising awareness of the dangers to pedestrians while promoting sound engineering, education and enforcement practices. We urge all users of our roadways to share the road with courtesy and safety in mind.”
New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said, “The Department of Health has always encouraged New Yorkers to walk more as a way to improve their health and prevent chronic disease. But if we want that habit to continue, it’s absolutely essential that we protect our pedestrians from reckless behaviors on the roads. We want our roads to be safe for all users.”
For more information, visit Governor Cuomo’s new pedestrian safety website. It provides an overview of the pedestrian safety plan, examples of highway safety improvements that can enhance pedestrian safety and tips for safely navigating roadways as a pedestrian.
Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook.