Reminds Travelers to Drive Safely this Holiday and Use Text Stops to Make Calls or Text
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that road construction will be suspended during peak holiday travel times over the next two weekends to provide easier travel for residents and visitors. Governor Cuomo also urged motorists to abide by New York's Move Over Law and utilize one of 64 text stops located across the state to text, make phone calls, or do other non-driving activities.
"With the busy travel season approaching, New York is once again taking proactive steps to ease traffic conditions across the state by suspending all unnecessary construction," Governor Cuomo said. "As we open up lanes and stop road work for the holidays, I encourage drivers to be alert, abide by the rules of the road, and travel safely to ensure everyone enjoys the holidays with loved ones."
All work behind temporary lane closures associated with road and bridge construction projects will cease from 6 a.m. Friday, December 22 until to 6 a.m. Tuesday, December 26. Some construction work behind permanent barriers or for emergency repairs may be done. Road construction will also be suspended from 6 a.m. Friday, December 29, through 6 a.m. Tuesday, January 2.
The New York State Thruway Authority will also continue its 47-year tradition of offering free coffee and hot tea to travelers at all 27 travel plazas along the Thruway from 11 p.m. New Year's Eve through 7 a.m. New Year's morning to promote safe and alert driving.
State officials also used the occasion as a reminder that there are 64 text stops across the state, and New York's "Move Over" law requires drivers to use due care, slow down and safely move over when they see flashing lights on the side of the road. This protects emergency responders, tow truck operators, police and firefighters as they work to help motorists along New York's roadways.
There may be slight variations for certain New York State Thruway projects based on previous traffic volume. A detailed schedule of Thruway lane closures throughout the holiday weekend is available here.
Under Governor Cuomo's Drivers First program, the state has prioritized the convenience of motorists during busy travel times to ease traffic congestion and delays.
Travelers planning to go out celebrating for the holidays are also encourage to use the Have a Plan app to help them determine how they will get safely home. The app can be used to designate a driver, call for a taxi or ride share, or to learn information about the consequences of impaired driving. It can also be used to report a drunk or drugged driver.
The Have a Plan app from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation is free and available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "The holidays are an opportunity to relax and reflect, but they are also a busy travel time for thousands of motorists in New York every year. This temporary halt in construction will help ease travel for New Yorkers and visitors this holiday season. I also encourage all New Yorkers to be safe as the year comes to a close: don't drive distracted, don't drink and drive, and always use a designated driver."
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The holidays are meant to spend time with family and thanks to Governor Cuomo's Driver's First program, the tens of thousands of motorists that will use the Thruway to get to their destinations this year won't be slowed by road construction. I urge all motorists to drive safe and move over for emergency vehicles and I join Governor Cuomo in wishing all New Yorkers a happy holiday season."
"We know New Yorkers and our visitors greatly appreciate the Governor's Drivers First program, which has made traveling on major holidays much less hectic," said Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Acting Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. "We also know that our emergency responders appreciate people abiding by the 'Move Over' law so that those workers can make it safely home to spend the holidays with their families. We can be sure everyone has a happy and healthy 2018 by complying with the law."
New York State Police have previously announced they will participate in the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign through Saturday, December 30. State Police will also be conducting their own enforcement period over New Year's Eve, from Sunday, December 31, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018.
To check road conditions to their destination, travelers are encouraged to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511ny.org before departing. The free service also allows users to link to air and transit information.
Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app also features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information about up to three routes.
Motorists are encouraged to download the Thruway's mobile app on iPhone and Android devices. The free app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go, along with detailed Thruway services information for New York's 570-mile superhighway. Motorists can also sign-up for TRANSalerts to receive real-time traffic alerts or follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter.