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NYPD to crack down on drunk driving over holidays

This week, though surely full of holiday brightness, is also the darkest week of the year, so city officials are pushing safe driving efforts.
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Over the holidays, opt for a cab rather than driving while drunk, city officials urge. Photo: Flickr

As New Yorkers celebrate the holidays, the city is ramping up its efforts to keep pedestrians and drivers safe as part of Vision Zero.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that city officials will crack down on drunk drivers over the holidays. The next few days also make this the darkest week of the year with the winter solstice, prompting the city to also redouble its efforts to keep pedestrians and drivers safe through the Dusk and Darkness campaign.

As the sun sets earlier in the winter, traffic injuries and fatalities increase, according to the city. The Dusk and Darkness campaign, which originally launched in Oct. 2016, helps educate drivers and enforce safe practices, such as obeying the speed limit, yielding to pedestrians when turning and expecting higher enforcement for violations, in hopes of lessening such accidents.

The city also wants to discourage drunk driving around the holidays and is offering a discount code, 2NODWI, for $10 off a taxi ride taken through the Curb app.

DWI-related traffic fatalities have a “dramatic increase” over the holidays, according to DOT data. NYPD will have a heightened focus on finding and arresting intoxicated drivers, including the use of random checkpoints. The Taxi and Limousine Commission will deploy enforcement officers citywide, as well.

“As the holidays arrive, we can be grateful for Vision Zero’s continued progress this year, as we have continued to drive down deadly crashes — particularly those involving pedestrians — while traffic fatalities nationally continue to rise,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“But we cannot rest on that achievement, especially as we enter these most dangerous solstice days and celebrate holidays where New Yorkers may be tempted to drink and drive,” he continued. “As part of its Dusk and Darkness efforts, the NYPD will be out in force, and its focused DWI enforcement will make sure we protect New Yorkers during this holiday season.”