Operation Hang Up
The New York State Police issued 15,104 tickets during this year’s Operation Hang Up traffic enforcement period, which targets those who use electronic devices while driving. Funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, this year’s campaign ran from April 6 – 10, as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The Hudson Valley’s two troops, F, which cover Greene, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, and K, which patrols Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester, accounted for 877 of the 2,005 tickets issued for distracted driving across the state.
The distracted driving tickets written were for a combination of actions including talking on a cell phone without a hands free device, texting, or using an electronic device while driving. In addition to the 2,005 for distracted driving, they issued 4,487 for speeding, 148 for violating the move over law and 596 for seat belt violations. Troopers also arrested 206 people for DWI and investigated 129 personal injury crashes, which resulted in one fatality and 171 people injured.
Troopers used both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated, state officials said.
“Distracted driving too often leads to avoidable tragedies, which is why this administration has zero tolerance for this illegal and dangerous behavior,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in an announcement about the crackdown’s results. “I commend State Police and local law enforcement for their continued vigilance against reckless driving and tireless work to keep our roadways and highways across New York safe.”
Operation Safe Stop
On April 27, 2017, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office will participate in the Operation Safe Stop Campaign. Deputies will follow the school buses on their routes and/or be in the area where most violations occur. Also, law enforcement officers around the state will be on board school buses and in marked and unmarked patrol units on selected bus routes that have a history of illegal passing complaints. Any motorist observed passing a stopped school bus will be stopped and ticketed. Deputies will also enforce speed restrictions within school zones.
Operation Safe Stop is an initiative to promote school bus safety through education and enforcement efforts. This enforcement effort will result in increased public awareness, which can reduce aggressive driving and help reach the common goal of safe transportation of children to and from school.
Operation Safe Stop is a cooperative project supported by the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), the New York State Education Department, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, the New York State School Bus Contractors Association, the student transportation industry and state, county, city and local law enforcement agencies.
New York State law requires motorists to stop for school buses that are receiving or discharging passengers. The driver of the vehicle must stop from either direction when they encounter a school bus in the process of loading or unloading students:
- on a public highway
- on multiple lane roads
- on opposite sides of divided highways
- on a public street
- on a private road
- in a parking lot
- on school property
The first-time fine for illegally passing a school bus is a $250 to $400 fine, 5 points on your license, and/or possibly 30 days in jail.