The state is planning to give New York's motorists good reason to lay off the gas pedal in the coming week.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced plans for a week-long speed enforcement crackdown involving the New York State Police.
Over the next seven days, Cuomo said the state will be ramping up police patrols in an effort to tamp down on speeding.
Cuomo's office noted that unsafe speed was a contributing factor in 34 percent of all fatal crashes from January to May this year, compared to 30 percent of fatal crashes during the same period in 2019, according to data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany's Rockefeller College.
"Speed limits are not a suggestion, they are the law and they save lives," Cuomo said. "There is no excuse for driving at high speeds - it's unnecessary and endangers everyone on the road -- and I urge New Yorkers to be smart and slow down because it's not worth risking lives to save a few seconds on your next commute or trip to the store."
Cuomo's office said the "high-visibility enforcement campaign" is supported by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to stop speeding and prevent avoidable crashes caused by unsafe speed. Throughout the enforcement blitz, 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.
Cuomo's office said data shows fatal crashes in New York caused by unsafe speed increases during the summer months with the highest totals in June through September. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2018, nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the state were caused by speeding, and among those fatalities, 42 percent occurred on local roads -- where the posted speed limits were 55 miles per hour or under. Furthermore, in 2018, 36 percent of the speed-related fatal and personal injury crashes occurred between noon and 6 p.m.
According to the NHTSA, drivers who speed are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as not wearing a seat belt, drinking and driving, or using a cell phone while driving, Cuomo's office noted.
"There's no getting around the facts: Speeding is dangerous behavior that needlessly results in deaths and serious injuries," said State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. "During this campaign and through enforcement efforts all year, our goal is to reduce speed related crashes and improve safe travel for everyone on New York's roadways. We urge all drivers - do your part to improve safety and obey posted speed limits, drive defensively, and put away your smart phone when you're behind the wheel."