The Super-Tall SUVs State Troopers Will Use to Bust You for Texting and Driving Are Just Regular-Sized Chevy Tahoes

With apologies to original image-takers Jot Powers and Frank Kovalchek
A masterful, wholly inaccurate artist's rendering of the new SUV fleet.
Yesterday, a report by the Associated Press was everywhere, concerning the super tall, unmarked SUVs that New York State Troopers have been given in order to bust texting drivers. They're grayish in color, there are 32 of them, and they're properly known as CITE vehicles, which stands for Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement.

So, is this some nefarious plot to make sure your Thanksgiving trip upstate is as unpleasant as possible, forcing you to actually talk to your passengers? It isn't, believe it or not: the SUVs have been used to catch wanton texters since July, when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced they were part of a million-dollar effort to curb "distracted driving." Unmarked SUVs have been used by the state police since 2011. Unmarked cars have actually been used by state troopers since 1956. You just didn't notice them before, because you were too busy texting.

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Here Are All the Words You're Not Allowed to Put on a Vanity Plate in New York

Image via Flickr user coolmallu
We may have to get creative, like Virginia.
Why does anyone drive in New York? Operating an automobile in this city is terrifying, outrageously expensive, and statistically quite likely to result in a trip to the impound lot. (The Brooklyn Navy Yard is lovely this time of year, by the way, excellent for strolling through with gritted teeth and $185 cash in hand to get your goddamn car back). Plus, you can't text or sleep or get drunk or engage in ecstatic sexual congress or any of the myriad other activities people do on the subway, usually while sitting next to me.

But worst of all, we've discovered, you're not allowed to use your license plate to telegraph to other drivers what an EZLAY you are. The same goes for HOOKER, VOMIT, CL1T and several dozen other very tasteful vanity plates that the state of New York has decided are permanently off-limits.

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Enjoy Watching Very Stoned People Drive Cars in This Hard-Hitting CNN Investigation

Categories: Driving, Weed

"As a consultant prepared our marijuana-smoking lab . . ." So begins this delightfully straight-faced CNN investigative report, in which the producers got Washington State drivers increasingly high in between repeated outings behind the wheel on a closed course to test their performance. The rest is journalism history.

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20,000 New Yorkers Will Soon Be "Bus People" Thanks to New Drunk-Driving Regulations

If you have three drunk driving convictions, one of these is probably in your future.

Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday laid out new regulations for when dangerous drivers can regain their driving privileges after getting convicted of serious driving offenses, and it seems a lot of people will soon be taking the bus.

The new regulations, designed to keep drivers with a history of driving wasted off the road, will keep an estimated 20,000 New Yorkers from getting their driving privileges reinstated -- in many cases, the revocation will be permanent -- according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"We are saying 'enough is enough' to those who have chronically abused their driving privileges and threatened the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians," Cuomo says. "This comprehensive effort will make New York safer by keeping these drivers off our roadways."   

The new regulations -- issued by the DMV as "emergency regulations" -- are among the toughest in the country and include the following measures:

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Possibly Drunk Driver Crashes Into Shuttle Van Outside Radio City Music Hall

Racing up Sixth Avenue at 5 in the morning will usually leave you in a heap of trouble, either with the passengers or with the police. Or, in this case, it could lead to disastrous consequences, like crashing into the side of a hotel shuttle van right outside of the famous Radio City Music Hall on 50th Street.

Apparently, a Mercedes-Benz was booking it down Sixth Avenue and steamrolled right through a red light, leading to complete full-on impact with the hotel shuttle bus. Soon after, parts of the avenue were shut down as police investigated the scene. The five passengers in the shuttle bus were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for non-life-threatening conditions; however, reports say that two were left in critical condition.

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With DUI's, Long Islanders Have Already Had a Rough Memorial Day Weekend

At the beginning of the month, Runnin' Scared mentioned that Nassau County police officers were getting a grant for the month of May to ramp up the amount of police officers on the lookout for drunk drivers. Looks like it came just in time for the holidays - what perfect timing.

Over the past two nights, at least seventy-one (count 'em, SEVENTY-ONE) people were arrested for drunk or drugged driving across Long Island, according to Newsday

Just look these statistics:

"Twenty-five people were arrested on DWI charges in Nassau County last night between 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday."

And here's a few more, provided by Gothamist

"In Nassau County, 39 people were arrested on DWI charges between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. the next day on Friday-Saturday and Saturday-Sunday. Suffolk County saw 21 arrested for "DWI and driving-while-ability-impaired charges between 4 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. Saturday" (the numbers for Saturday-Sunday aren't available yet)."

We know Long Islanders love drugs and booze but come on.
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Sen. Chuck Schumer Pushes For Crackdown On Drugged Driving

In New York City, 357 drivers were arrested in 2011 for being under the influence of drugs -- up from 81 ten years prior. That's more than a 300 percent increase.

That's why Sen. Chuck Schumer is making a funding push to crackdown on "drugged driving" through new on-site technologies that would identify drivers under the influence and through additional training for officers.

He made the call for stronger enforcement at a press conference yesterday with Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, where he argued that despite a growth in drugged driving arrests over the last decade, the number of arrests pale in comparison to drunk driving -- due to the challenges of identifying drivers on drugs on the road.

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New York City Traffic Fatalities at 100-Year Low

This week has brought a wave of PR-department-approved good news to New York City residents. We have less crime! We are healthier! We might just live...forever! And...we're better at driving and/or walking, apparently. Mayor Bloomberg along with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan released stats today showing that New York has hit an all-time low in traffic fatalities -- the fewest since records started being kept in 1910. According to data for the year up to December 27, there were 237 traffic fatalities in 2011, 40 percent fewer than there were in 2001. This includes 134 pedestrian fatalities (involved in crashes with vehicles), 47 senior pedestrian fatalities, and 3 child pedestrian fatalities.

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Someone Apparently Shot a Window Out of a Cab on Avenue A Last Night

EV Grieve reports (with photos) that someone allegedly "blew out the window" of a cab last night at Avenue A near 14th Street. Per the tipster, Matt LES_Miserable, police were on the scene and the driver was "very shaken up" and said a passenger had shot out his window. The hows and whys are unclear, though it seems quite evident this is not how to persuade someone to take you to Brooklyn.

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Is This the Best Parallel Parking Job Ever?

Terrible confession: We don't drive -- regularly, anyway -- and we never learned how to make this sort of parallel parking magic happen. But it looks pretty effing fancy. Look at the wheels shimmy! This happened in New York City, in Bushwick, recently.

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