Police teaming up to crack down on dangerous drivers
Suffolk police are launching a crackdown on dangerous drivers following an uptick in fatal crashes, and they're employing some new tactics.
Instead of a solitary officer checking speeds on the LIE with a radar gun, police say they're now working in teams. One officer stays in place using a sophisticated laser gun. That officer then relays speed information on drivers to other officers who are standing by, waiting to chase down speeders.
Additional officers on motorcycles are monitoring the traffic stops, to make sure the drivers who pass by are obeying the "move over law." That law requires drivers to change lanes to avoid police and emergency vehicles that are stopped on the shoulder. Drivers who don't move over will find themselves pulled over as well, police say.
Officers say the crackdown is part of an effort to keep Long Island's roads safe. "We had an increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes last year, so we're focusing on that," says Suffolk Police Sgt. Michael Baranek.
Baranek says the spate of traffic stops should send a clear message to speeding drivers. "It's a good deterrent visually. There will be a lot of people stopped in a short stretch of the expressway, and people kind of get the message," he says.