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State cops aim to slow drivers down

A New York State Trooper restricts access to

A New York State Trooper restricts access to the westbound Ocean Parkway during police activities in the area. (April 18, 2011) Credit: James Carbone

Speeders beware.

New York State Police are stepping up enforcement of speeding and aggressive driving on Long Island and across the state this week as part of its "Speed Week" campaign.

Patrol cars and unmarked police vehicles will be out in greater numbers through Saturday on Long Island's parkways and along Sunrise Highway, according to State Police.

The enforcement effort targets speeders, distracted and impaired drivers, and those violating seat belt laws and the "Move Over Law," which requires drivers to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle, police said.

The statewide effort coincides with the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series at upstate's Watkins Glen International Raceway, east of Buffalo.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement announcing the enforcement that the State Police are using the event "to remind New Yorkers that off the racetrack, speeding will not be tolerated in this state."

Speeding is the No. 1 cause of death on New York roadways, comprising about one third of all fatal crashes, officials said.

"Many of our highway deaths and injuries could be prevented if drivers would comply with speed limits and other rules of the road," New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said in a statement.

In June, Cuomo increased penalties for drivers talking or texting on a cellphone, increasing the number of points for an offense from three to five. Also, a new minimum fine of $150 was established, which rises to $200 for a second violation within 18 months, and to $400 for three or more infractions.

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