Texting drivers of New York will soon taste the flavor of law enforcement more strongly; or from a higher point of view, anyway. Officers are serving as undercover agents in state police cruisers that are designed with higher seats than the ordinary SUVs for a better view to catch drivers fiddling their mobiles.
In addition, SUVs are unmarked that enables officers to creep quietly on unsuspecting texters and then bring the distracted driver to an abrupt pull over.
Is it considered legal for police to use unmarked cars?
A part of a statewide summer initiative to catch texting drivers was the deployment of a fleet of SUVs with slightly elevated seats.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the enforcement effort will commence from the 4th of July and is part of a $1 million program.
The vehicles called Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement aka CITE, are really SUVs that are unmarked in varied colors to guarantee that they will blend with other vehicles in traffic.
Sometime in the past, NYC prohibited the use of unmarked police cars but which in the present is no longer the case.
In 1996, Gov. George Pataki signed an executive order banning unmarked police cars from routine traffic stops. His order resulted after a rash of blue light attacks where criminals posed as policemen riding in unmarked cars.
Gov. Cuomo had all prior executive governors’ orders repealed, including Pataki’s order against the use of unmarked police cars in traffic stops. So today, officers are legally making use of unmarked police cars for a range of traffic law enforcement purposes.
In some other states such as Ohio, the law requires that all law-enforcement vehicles must be marked as distinguished from others with at least one colored light equipped and mounted on top outside of the vehicle.
Unmarked cars are not only for traffic violations but also utilized to stop drivers who have criminal violations or those exhibiting behaviors that prove a threat to public.
New Yorkers who are texting-while-driving are easily captured by the surveillance effort as the traffic enforcement operation is designed to combat drivers who are compromising public safety.
So before you want to lol at a red light camera area – beware as a police might be watching you and catch you red-handed texting.
Gov. Cuomo announced last Wednesday that they have widen their efforts in catching distracted drivers by deploying specially designed spymobile to easily view texters behind the wheel. The SUV actually looks like a normal car but they have added features to apprehend texters easily. Their seats were deigned higher so cops on the road can easily peek into cars driving alongside.
Cuomo said that the State Police will be out watching all the roads even when the driver is not giving attention.
In the year 2011, these types of vehicles were introduced stealthy as part of a pilot program and it proved to be successful that the state decided to purchase more of these types of fleet.
Source: NY Daily News Com