New York State Police are well aware that the recent emphasis has been on distracted drivers, but that does not mean they are ignoring other, similarly dangerous forms of driving such as speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

This past December the National Transportation Safety Board released a study which seemed to indicate that deaths attributed to distracted driving now outnumber those attributed to driving under the influence of alcohol. Some have questioned the validity of that research pointing out that it is difficult to determine whether or not distracted driving was the actual cause of these crashes of just a coincidence. Similar arguments are often made concerning drivers under the influence of alcohol, but scientists have confirmed that both these actions-driving while distracted or driving drunk does impair your ability to operate a vehicle. Specifically, both these actions inhibit your movement, slow your reaction time and lead drivers to lose focus on the road ahead of them.

Drunk driving laws have been enforced for decades and the impact on the number of fatalities caused by DUI has been dramatic. This has lent credence to the effort to enact a nation wide ban on distracted driving, although there remains some resistance.

While legislators argue over the merits of a distracted driving ban, police focus on existing laws, and enforcing public safety on the roads and highways.

A New York State Police roving DWI sobriety enforcement details, concentrated on Route 6 in Cortlandt and on the Sprain Brook Parkway on May 11 and 12, resulted in the arrest of six drivers for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. They also issued 12 speeding tickets and 38 other citations for a variety of traffic related infractions.

This is a win for the state police whose job it is to enforce existing traffic laws, but it also a win for public safety.