Statewide Speed Awareness Week campaign lasts until August 12

Speed Enforcement Blitz Underway on the East End




Southampton Town Police Officer Mike Algozzino caught a driver doing 53 in a 40 mph zone on Flanders Road Friday morning. Independent/Taylor K. Vecsey

A speed awareness campaign in underway statewide. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced beefed up patrols to enforce speed limits, when data shows that fatal crashes due to unsafe speed increases during the summer months.

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.”

In addition to the State police, the Southampton Town Police Department, Quogue Village and Riverhead police announced that they launched “a speed enforcement blitz” on Thursday, August 6 through August 12.

Officers will be out in force on County Road 39 in Southampton and Flanders Road between Hampton Bays and Riverside. Officers in the Town of Riverhead will be conducting speed enforcement on roads such as Route 58, Sound Avenue and Peconic Bay Boulevard in Riverhead, Church Lane in Aquebogue and North Country Road in Wading River.

A Southampton Town police officer pulled over an alleged speeding motorist by the McDonald’s in Flanders Friday morning. Independent/Taylor K. Vecsey

In the Village of Quogue, officers will be particularly focused on Montauk Highway, Quogue Street, Dune Road and Old Country Road, where most of the speed-related crashes are, according to Chief Christopher Isola.

“Speeding translates to death on our roadways. It greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve. Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk,” Isola said.

“Our goal is to save lives, and we’re putting all drivers on alert — the posted speed limit IS THE LAW. No more warnings and no more excuses. When it comes to speeding: Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.”

In 2018, the most recent year complete data is available, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. More than 9,300 people were killed in such crashes, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In New York, nearly one-third of the state’s 943 traffic fatalities in 2018 were caused by speeding. A total of 274 people lost their lives and 1,984 were seriously injured.

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.

taylor@indyeastend.com