QUEENSBURY -- Those who drive too fast or recklessly through the heart of Queensbury's business district will have to tone it down, at least for a week.
Route 9, from the Glens Falls line to the Great Escape, as well as part of Aviation Road will be the subject of a crackdown on aggressive drivers over the next week, officials announced Monday.
That effort will include extra police patrols and a zero tolerance policy toward those who are spotted breaking the law, said State Police Capt. Donald DePass.
Police and representatives of the state Department of Transportation held a press conference at Aviation Mall on Monday to announce the crackdown, which came about after the DOT identified the two roads as having an above-average incidence of accidents where aggressive driving was a contributing factor, said Mark Kennedy, a DOT transportation systems operation engineer. The roads each handle 15,000 to 27,000 vehicles per day, he said.
Statistics were not available Monday, but Kennedy said the data showed the problem was greatest on Fridays and Saturdays and in July and August, when tourist traffic was at its peak.
Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said the two police agencies will assign extra patrols to the roads for the next week.
DePass said they will watch for violations like speeding, improper lane changes, tailgating, impaired driving and compliance with traffic lights.
The first part of the enforcement effort will take part this week, but extra patrols will be assigned to the area randomly through the end of summer.
The heightened police presence will be paid for through a grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
The DOT has been identifying problem areas around the state for similar enforcement efforts since 2001, recently undertaking one on Route 7 in Rensselaer County.
Three electronic billboards have been put in place on the roads warning drivers the area is a "traffic safety corridor" that will have extra police patrols assigned to it. The billboards will remain in place for about a week, said Peter Van Keuren, a spokesman for the DOT.
Modifications to Aviation Road and the intersection of Aviation and Quaker roads and Upper Glen Street last year were intended to improve capacity of the roads, Kennedy said.
Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec said he was glad to see police reacting to what state officials have identified as a problem. He said it's obvious traffic has greatly increased in the area over the past 20 years.
"If it raises awareness and makes us collectively a little safer for at least a week or so, that's fine with me," Stec said.