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NYPD To Boost Traffic Patrols On City's Most Dangerous Corridors For Fourth Of July Weekend

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Summer travel is in full swing with much of the country open for the Fourth of July weekend.

The NYPD, Department of Transportation, Taxi and Limousine Commission and Vision Zero announced their traffic safety plan Thursday as millions are set to hit the roads, CBS2 Hazel Sanchez reported.

After the pandemic pause, New Yorkers are excited to celebrate Independence Day.

"Probably go to the beach, probably end up at a couple barbeques," said Upper East Side resident Cookie Valentino.

"I'm looking forward to the fireworks," Bronx resident Mike Sap said.

kim royster nypd
NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster (credit: CBS2)

While they look to the skies, police will have their eyes on the roads.

Traffic enforcement will be stepped up with increased patrols and driver checkpoints, all in an effort to discourage drunk, high or any impaired driving.

"It's always a concern," said Sadia Mohammad, an Upper East Side resident.

NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster said officers specifically trained to identify drunk and drugged drivers will be out in full force and focusing on the city's most dangerous corridors.

"We are going to be there. We are going to be visible. But we're also going to follow up with enforcement, because enforcement changes the behavior of our drivers and that's what we need. That criminal behavior that drivers have taken on to cause collisions and, more importantly, fatalities. And we all know that one fatality is too many fatalities," Royster said.

Vision Zero analysts say the most dangerous streets include:

  • Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx,
  • Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn,
  • Third and Eighth Avenues in Manhattan,
  • 21st Street and Sutphin Boulevard in Queens,
  • and Highland Boulevard on Staten Island.

The extra patrols will start Friday night and last through Monday night.

Police say nine people in the city have been killed by drunk drivers this year.

There's also concern the legalization of marijuana could spark an increase in fatalities caused by impaired drivers, including those on motorcycles, mopeds and electric scooters.

"The challenges that not only the New York City Police Department but the highway patrol will face this weekend is combatting impaired and aggressive motorists on the roadway and the combination of both," said Officer Anthony Grosso, one of the NYPD's specially-trained drug recognition experts.

It's important to remember anyone who's over-indulged can use mass transit, taxis or ride shares to get home safely.

"Have fun, but be careful and stay safe," Sap said.

WATCH: Mayor Bill de Blasio's July 1, 2021 Press Conference

Vision Zero teams have been out all week on some of the city's most dangerous roadways to hand out safety tips to drivers, as well as cyclists, motorcyclists and scooter operators.

They want to make sure people travel responsibly and have a safe holiday weekend.

Click here for a list of fireworks shows and other Fourth of July events in the Tri-State Area this weekend.

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