Cops to target I-787 traffic
Sheriff seeking county approval to apply for state grant money
By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer
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First published: Monday, March 10, 2008
ALBANY -- As police agencies prepare for stepped up traffic enforcement along part of the I-787 corridor with a high number of fatalities, county legislators tonight will consider giving the sheriff authorization to apply for a state grant to cover his costs.
Plans are in place for a five-month program targeting aggressive drivers, speeders and inattentive motorists along a nearly four-mile stretch of 787 from the Watervliet city line to the Cohoes line.
Participating are State Police, sheriff's deputies and Watervliet and Cohoes police, Albany County Sheriff James Campbell said Friday. The blitz would run from April 1 to Sept. 30.
Campbell asked lawmakers for authorization to apply to the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee for a $16,475 Traffic Safety Corridor Enforcement Program grant to cover overtime costs of three deputies working eight-hour overtime shifts, Campbell said.
The deputies will be using both marked and unmarked patrol units which would have license plate reader technology, radar and laser speed-measuring devices.
The effort -- during which police will blanket the 3.9-mile strip -- is an attempt to reduce what statistics show has been an inordinate number of fatalities, personal injury accidents, speeding stops, aggressive driving incidents and other traffic infractions, Campbell said.
The number of fatalities and other accidents was not immediately available.
Other agencies participating in the stepped-up enforcement effort were also applying for state grants.
Campbell likened the upcoming blitz to an intensive enforcement effort in 2001 along a five-mile stretch of Route 20 (Western Avenue) from the Albany city line through Guilderland. At that time, that strip was on the state's top-five list of corridors prone to crashes caused by aggressive driving, State Police said.