Port Jervis City Police will be participating in expanded traffic safety enforcement initiatives in conjunction with the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau in an attempt to reinforce safe and responsible driving behavior to reduce auto accidents and injuries to pedestrians resulting from automobiles on City streets.

In 2018, City Police received a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to participate in the Police Traffic Services Program, formerly called “STEP”, for Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, that provides funding for enforcement patrols assigned to target distracted and aggressive driving behaviors such as cell phone use and text messaging while operating a motor vehicle, speeding, and disobeying red lights, stops signs and failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. This program will operate through the months of May, June, July, August and September 2018.

The Department will be participating in the annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “Click It or Ticket” border to border campaign beginning May 21st and ending June 3rd, 2018 tasking officers to conduct expanded seat belt enforcement by increasing the amount of patrols and traffic safety check points targeting these violations during this enforcement campaign. In previous campaigns, Officers have made contact with hundreds of drivers and have noted increased compliance for seat belt usage on our roadways.

According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, in recent years, the collaborative effort of traffic safety professionals throughout the state has resulted in record seat belt compliance rates. For the past several years, surveys indicate that more than 90% of motor vehicle occupants “buckle up” daily. Despite recent achievement, we cannot become complacent. In 2013, roughly 34% of all occupants killed in a motor vehicle crash were unbelted representing an increase of 5% from 2012. One unrestrained death is one too many. We need your participation to reduce this statistic. It takes two seconds to “buckle-up”. Making sure that all occupants are properly restrained saves lives! It could save your loved one, a neighbor or even your own life.

Pedestrian Safety is an important traffic safety issue and public health concern for New York State. Everyone becomes a pedestrian at some point in their travels. Approximately 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 injured by motor vehicles each year on the state’s roadways and more than 3,000 pedestrians are admitted to the hospital annually. Injuries to pedestrians are among the top 10 leading causes of injury-related hospital admissions and death for almost all age groups In New York State.

Both drivers and pedestrians need to know and follow the rules of the road to assure pedestrian safety. It is a shared responsibility and both can be subjected to fines for not obeying vehicle and traffic laws. The majority of pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes involve driver error, including distraction, failure to yield, and speeding. Pedestrians are responsible for following vehicle and traffic laws as well. One out of four crashes with a pedestrian involve pedestrian error or inattention.

Fatalities and personal injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes continue to be a serious societal problem. A large percentage of these traffic crashes locally can be attributed to aggressive and distracted driving behaviors including speeding, passing lane violations, disregarding traffic control devices, fail to yield ROW (pedestrians and vehicles), following too closely, and using a cellular telephone while operating a motor vehicle. While public information and education efforts help prevent some of these incidents, directed traffic enforcement is a key component to reducing these behaviors and their resulting crashes.

As part of the City’s on-going efforts to reduce traffic accidents and improve the safety and quality of life of our residents, the department has thoroughly analyzed traffic accident data and identified the times and locations where traffic accidents statistically occur with great frequency and have developed appropriate enforcement strategies to address them.

In 2017, police investigated 328 property damage auto accidents, 35 personal injury accidents and 2 incidents where a pedestrian was struck by a motor vehicle. Port Jervis Police computer records reveal that automobile accidents occur disproportionately during the following days: Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Monday and Saturday between the hours of 10:00am – 8:00pm. The peak time period, however, has been identified as the hours of 12pm and 4pm. The majority of accidents investigated occurred on East and West Main Street, Pike Street, Jersey Avenue, Kingston Avenue and Sussex Street.

Our 2018 PTS initiative will focus traffic enforcement details upon the enforcement of specific violations of the vehicle traffic law during the times and at the specific locations where traffic accidents occur more frequently.

Key Enforcement Areas

  • Targeted patrols at the locations identified and during the time and days of the week when accidents are statistically more prevalent.
  • Increased enforcement efforts targeting motorists who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians in cross walks and text message or talk on their cellular telephone while driving.
  • Increased emphasis of speed enforcement efforts in our neighborhoods.

It is our goal to ultimately decrease the number and severity of motor vehicle crashes by deterring aggressive driving and accident causing behaviors, including speeding and distracted driving – through increased enforcement efforts coupled with training and public awareness.”

The Governors Traffic Safety Bureau has provided the City with funding to aid the City with assigning officers to extra shifts to conduct these important public safety initiatives. More information is available at http://www.safeny.ny.gov/