If you thought you saw more police patrols on the roads today you weren’t dreaming. In fact, New York State Police and municipal agencies across the state announced they are increasing patrols this week focused primarily on speeders and those drivers ignoring the state’s “Move Over” law designed to keep emergency workers safe on the roadside.

You might think that by announcing the increased patrols police were alerting drivers to slow down and drive safely and therefore they would be writing fewer tickets, but that’s exactly the point. Police don’t write citations for fun and profit-they write citations to keep drivers safe. If they can convince just one driver to drive safer, whether by writing them a citation or simply by warning them you might write them a citation, you are doing your job as a public safety officer.

Lots of people get mad at police for writing citations, but that’s part of their job and a very important public service. Speeding is a factor in every fatal accident, and thousands of emergency workers have been injured or killed after being struck by vehicles while working on the side of the road. That’s why there are laws forcing cars to ‘move over’ and forcing drivers to slow down. If police have to write citations to enforce those laws, or threaten to write more citations to make that happen, so be it.

What matters most is public safety.