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As happens every year, local motorists have been on the receiving end of advice that is intended to make sure that everyone’s holiday is merry: Don’t drink and drive.
While the temptation is ever present, Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, assured members of the precinct’s community council, gathered at the station house last month for their November meeting, that cops would be on the lookout for drivers who have imbibed too much holiday punch or other alcoholic beverages.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of that going on, and it’s dangerous,” Rodriguez stressed, adding that, in the wake of recent fatal accidents, “It’s high profile right now. We want to see everybody enjoy themselves.
“If you are going to drink, get someone else to drive for you,” he went on. “We have a nice nightlife here. However, with the weather being nice, there’s a lot of people on the street, crossing the streets. We have to be very, very careful with that.”
It’s not only DWIs that can cause accidents at this time of year, Rodriguez went on.
“Traffic patterns change at this time of year,” he reminded his listeners.
Given that there are likely to be more cars on the road, and more people on the streets, “Allow extra time if you have to go somewhere. We don’t need to have people rushing, and going through red lights to get to their destination,” Rodriguez advised.
The crowds are particularly thick on 86th Street, he noted. “We will have coverages out there,” Rodriguez said.
“Just recognize that there will be a lot more backups on the Gowanus, going to Staten Island,” he went on.
Another issue that the community faces is the large number of drivers who pathfind through local streets when highways get backed up, Rodriguez reminded the group.
“They think they can go through Bay Ridge and get to their location faster,” he said. “Then, they get to 92nd Street and find out they are going to have to park their car there and wait for the next day to get over the bridge. So be careful of that.”
The 68th Precinct is located at 333 65th Street.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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