Cracking down on aggressive driving
Updated: 5/8/2006 5:52:57 PM
By: Ken Jubie

"The reason I'm stopping you is for speeding. You were going 58 in a 45-mile-per-hour zone, which is 13 miles over the speed limit," said State Trooper Matt Wilski during a traffic stop Monday afternoon.

A state trooper issuing a speeding ticket is a common scene. You may see more of it this week on Route 50 between Broadway in Saratoga Springs and Jones Road in Wilton.

The State Police and local law enforcers are traveling the six-mile stretch looking for aggressive and unsafe drivers.

"Unfortunately, aggressive driving is something that needs to be constantly monitored," said Capital Region DOT Operations Director Joseph DiFabio.

"Using a variety of traffic enforcement tools, such as concealed identity vehicles, patrol cars equipped with video cameras and laser stalker radars, police officers will be taking a zero tolerance approach to drivers who violate the law," said State Police Captain Donald DePass.

They'll have their eyes peeled for a laundry list of violations.

"Unsafe lane changes, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, cell phone use, things of that nature," said Wilski.

It might come as no surprise to hear that according to the state DOT, most of the accidents happening along this stretch of Route 50 are caused by drivers following each other too closely.

The time of day that they happen might be a little more shocking. It's not rush hour, but rather between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. that the highest volume of accidents along this stretch of road is happening.

And as far as a given day, Fridays are the busiest days for car crashes along this stretch of Route 50.

"It can be crazy. As a matter of fact, I try to avoid Route 50 at all costs," said Saratoga Springs Mayor Valerie Keehn.

Troopers estimate issuing somewhere between 500 and 1,000 tickets here this week. In the process they hope to make the road a little safer.

"It's not just a vehicle stop for the violation itself, but we can take it a couple levels higher as to looking for illegal narcotics, DWIs," Wilski said.

Cracking down on aggressive drivers on Route 50, he said, will help everyone else sit back and enjoy the ride.

Copyright 2006 TWEAN d.b.a. Capital News 9