The Police Department will step up enforcement against drunk and drugged driving this Fourth of July weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, July 1.
“Every holiday weekend brings dangerous driving, and we know what works best: education and targeted enforcement,” said de Blasio in a statement. “If you’re under the influence this holiday weekend, hail a ride home. There’s no excuse to drive under the influence, and NYPD will be out in force to keep New Yorkers safe on the streets.”
NYPD plans to deploy specialized officers trained to detect and arrest impaired and dangerous drivers to every precinct in the city for the United States of America’s 245th birthday
“Our highway and patrol units are adding extra layers of enforcement, across all five boroughs. We’re raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and other poor choices,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster in a statement. “We’re asking all New Yorkers to share in the responsibility of keeping our roads and highways safe. Only by working together can we maintain one another’s well-being as we celebrate the joy of our nation’s Independence Day.”
The Department of Transportation will also boost its social media messaging to discourage motorists from driving while intoxicated, and the agency plans to partner with New York’s Finest to launch a new awareness campaign this summer, according to officials.
“As fatal crashes have risen this year, the City has mobilized all relevant agencies to fight the nationwide pandemic of reckless driving — including in particular driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman.
Traffic fatalities have increased by more than 38% at 122 deaths as of June 27, up from 88 last year, according to the latest NYPD statistics.
De Blasio’s last year in office has been on pace to be the one of the deadliest years of his tenure, despite his efforts to reduce road deaths to zero under his Vision Zero initiative.
Much of the East River waterfront will also be inaccessible to most traffic as NYPD mobilizes for the celebrations starting Sunday afternoon.