Police target bad drivers along Route 14

Miracle Mile motorists to be given special attention

By Jennifer Kingsley jkingsle@gannett.com Staff Writer May 5, 2009

HORSEHEADS - Buckle that seatbelt, drop the cell phone and obey traffic laws if you don't want to get a ticket along the Miracle Mile in the coming months.

New York State Department of Transportation officials and police on Monday announced their plans to increase patrols along the corridor, which is state Route 14. The announcement was made during a morning news conference at the Friendly's restaurant at Westinghouse Circle in the village of Horseheads.
Police plan to target aggressive drivers, specifically those who operate their vehicles in a selfish, bold or pushy manner without regard for the rights or safety of other motorists, said Paul McAnany, DOT resident engineer.
"These drivers create an unsafe driving environment through their inconsiderate, self-centered driving habits and are responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year," he said.
Targeted behaviors include excessive speed, frequent or unsafe lane changes, failure to signal, tailgating, failure to yield right of way, disregarding traffic control devices, such as red lights, and driving while impaired.
Drivers are encouraged to be polite and courteous, to think before reacting, and to consider the possible consequences of their actions, according to a news release from the transportation department.
Officials decided to target Miracle Mile based on reports from local police and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
Miracle Mile is a congested traffic area, McAnany said.
"We continue to strive to keep motorists informed and to reduce congestion and delay, which in turn caused driver frustration and stress," Peter White, DOT regional director, said in the news release.
Last year, officials targeted a corridor along U.S. Route 15, near Lindley, where police issued 297 tickets: 183 for speeding; 103 for vehicle and traffic violations; and 11 for seatbelt and child restraint violations.
"The best thing you can do," McAnany said, "is drive without emotion."