ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — New Yorkers hitting the road this week will want to go easy on the gas pedal, as law enforcement agencies across the state will be increasing their patrols to target speeding, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Saturday.

As part of an effort to prevent speeding, Aug. 14 to 21 has been chosen for the annual Speed Awareness Week program in New York State. The high-visibility enforcement campaign is supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), and is meant to stop speeding and prevent avoidable crashes caused by unsafe speed.

“There are countless risks and tragic consequences to speeding,” Governor Hochul said. “This enforcement campaign will be crucial not only to catch speeders but also to encourage all drivers to maintain safe speeds on our roadways, and I encourage all New Yorkers to take your time and get to your destination safely.”

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College, unsafe speed was a contributing factor in almost 30% of crashes averaged from 2016 to 2021. According to the Governor’s Office, preliminary data from the Institute says that unsafe speed contributed to 353 fatal crashes in 2021, which resulted in 389 deaths of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Crashes that were caused by unsafe speed peaked in New York from June through October, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA also says that speeding causes:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control
  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment
  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger
  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries
  • Increased fuel consumption/cost

“When it comes to speeding, the risk is not worth the reward,” NY State Sheriffs’ Association President Thomas Dougherty said. “You may get to your destination a few seconds sooner, but you are far more likely to be involved in a crash when speeding. Speed-related crashes often result in injuries and worse. The Sheriffs of New York want you to enjoy your summer travels in a safe way so obey the speed limit.”