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Speed Awareness Week to run through next weekend

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Friday announced that New York State Police and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols to target speeding from July 31 to Aug. 8.

According to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College, unsafe speed was a contributing factor in 314 fatal crashes in 2020, compared to 230 fatal crashes in 2019 — a 36% increase. The 314 fatal crashes last year resulted in 365 deaths including drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

“Our message is simple: slow down and drive responsibly,” Cuomo said in a press release. “Too often, speeding leads to avoidable and deadly consequences, and it won’t be tolerated. Trying to get to your destination quicker is not worth putting yourself, your passengers, and all those sharing the road in danger.”

This high-visibility enforcement campaign is supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, or GTSC, to stop speeding and prevent avoidable crashes caused by unsafe speed. During last year’s Speed Awareness Week, law enforcement throughout the state issued 21,428 tickets for speeding and 30,273 tickets for other vehicle and traffic law violations, such as impaired and distracted driving.

Throughout the enforcement campaign, a “No Excuses” public service announcement will be airing on broadcast and cable networks statewide, highlighting the penalty for speeding. Additionally, the State Department of Transportation will have Variable Message Signs alerting motorists to the dangers of speeding.

Data shows fatal crashes in New York caused by unsafe speed increase during the summer months with the highest totals in June through October. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities nationally in 2019. Additionally, NHTSA says speeding causes:

– Greater potential for loss of vehicle control

– Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment

– Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger

– Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries

– Increased fuel consumption/cost

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