Port Jervis City Police Department Traffic Safety Initiatives 2019

Aggressive and Distracted Driving Reduction Campaign

Slow DownPort Jervis City Police will be participating in expanded traffic safety enforcement initiatives in conjunction with the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee 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 2018-9, 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 operates through the months of April, May, June, July, August and September 2019.

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 2018, City police investigated 340 property damage auto accidents, 25 personal injury accidents and 3 incidents where a pedestrian was struck and injured by a motor vehicle. Port Jervis Police computer records reveal that automobile accidents occur disproportionately during the following days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Thursday 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 2019 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. In addition, this funding will further allow for greater interagency collaboration to address joint driver safety concerns in the TriState region to make the Port Jervis area safer.

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/.