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Speed Traps Part Two: Fast driving can be deadly

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - For police, there's no question that speed kills. And that's why you often see troopers along roadways, just waiting for you to break the law.

"By our mere presence in a marked police vehicle, we're a deterrent to speed," says New York State Police Capt. Frank Coots of Troop D in Marcy. "People see us, they say ,'Ohhhh, I gotta slow down.'

According to Coots, an actual stop of a motorist makes them really think about speeding in the future -- even if they aren't given a ticket.
 
"Whenever you increase your speed and you're involved in a serious accident, you're likely to suffer serious injuries or fatal injuries," Coots said. "Speed kills."

And that's why Coots says speed enforcement is done for your sake, not theirs'.

Troopers do have their popular spots to catch people, such as Route 12 southbound -- just north of Riverside Center -- in the morning.

"A lot of different factors are going on, of course," Coots said. "They're thinking about work, getting the kids to school."

The same area after work -- in the northbound direction -- is also a busy one.

But which road in our area sees the most tickets written?

"It would probably be either 49 or Route 12," Coots said. "Only because of the amount of traffic that is on those two roads."

Route 49, between Utica and Rome gets a lot of attention, as does the former section of Route 49 known as River Road in Marcy. And that area is only going to become more of a focus with Nano Utica jobs coming to SUNY IT

"There's a lot of commercial businesses out throughout here," Coots said. "We want to make sure that people entering and exiting traffic, that it's safe to do so. And if someone's speeding, it makes it difficult to get in and out of these businesses."
 
But according to Coots, there are no set spots where you're more likely to get ticketed. However, Coots warned if you're speed in a construction zone, you will get stopped and you will get a ticket.

Despite what people may think, Coots says officers are not out there at the end of the month making sure they meet some pre-determined quota. He says quotas in police departments are illegal in New York State.
 
"I allow my guys to write as many tickets as possible," Coots said. "That's my quota."

When Utica resident Phil Ofosu was asked how his driving changed after getting a ticket, he said he started taking a slower pace to get where he was going.

"It did its job," he said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo set aside $1 million this year specifically for extra enforcement of the distracted driving laws and $1 million for unmarked state police vehicles to help in the crackdown.

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