Law enforcers to begin Speed Awareness Week

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The annual statewide Speed Awareness Week crackdown will begin on Saturday, with increased law enforcement patrols and enforcement across the state.

Speed Week will last from Saturday, July 31 through Sunday, Aug. 8.

“Fatal accidents due to speed happen every year on our roadways. Speeding greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve," said Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood. All law enforcement agencies in Central New York will be participating in Speed Week, especially the state police.

"Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk," Hood stated.

Speeding by all vehicle types, as well as other traffic violations, will be heavily enforced throughout the week in addition to normal year-round enforcement, officials said. Officers will also be watching for other traffic violations, including distracted or impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up and drivers that are violating New York’s Move Over law.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly three in 10 Americans speed when behind the wheel. Officials said speeding was a contributing factor to 26% of all traffic fatalities across the country in 2019.

While the penalties for speeding vary, fines and surcharges as well as increased points on drivers’ licenses can make a conviction for speeding a hefty proposition. According to the New York Safety Council, “for a first conviction the cost of a speeding ticket can range between $90 and $600. For example, if you’re speeding less than 10 miles over the limit, your ticket will usually be between $90 and $150. If you are speeding between 11 and 30 miles over the limit, your ticket will be in the $90 to $300 range.”

In addition to these fines, New York levies a moving violation surcharge, which begins at $93 for a first-time offense in a town or village court and $88 for a first-time offender in city court. There is also a “driver assessment fee” for drivers who have at least six points accumulated on their licenses within 18 months or drivers convicted of certain traffic violations within the past three years.

Although its rarely invoked as a punishment, a judge in New York can also impose a jail sentence of up to 30 days for speeding ticket violations.

During the 2020 Speed Week, officials said 21,428 tickets were issued for speeding across the state.

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