Message from the Chief

 Joseph A. Sinagra
















During the month of April, the Saugerties Police Department will be conducting two very import initiatives:

During the month of April, our police officers will be joining law enforcement officers around the state to participate in an Operation Safe Stop Day.  During "Safe Stop," police officers will be on board school buses and in marked and unmarked patrol units on selected bus routes that have a history of illegal passing complaints.  Police will be conducting enforcement details during this initiative, and will issue tickets to drivers who pass stopped school buses. The Saugerties Police recognizes the need for enforcement with regard to school bus safety.  According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Commission, an estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass school buses in New York State every day, putting our community’s children at risk.

Between April 11-22 we will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text while driving. This effort is a part of the national U Drive, U Text U Pay, high-visibility enforcement (HVE) campaign that combines periods of intense enforcement of anti-texting laws with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.


“People need to know that we are serious about stopping this deadly behavior,” said Chief Joseph Sinagra. “Driving and texting has reached epidemic levels, and enforcement of our state texting law is part of the cure.”


Violating New York’s texting law can be costly.  In addition to a fine of up to $150 for the first offense, five points are assessed to your license upon conviction.  The fine increases to up to $200 for a second conviction within eighteen months.


Roughly 3,000 people are killed and over 400,000 are injured nationwide yearly in distraction-affected crashes. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.


When you text while driving, you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving. That puts everyone else’s lives in danger, and no one has the right to do that. We’re serious about enforcing texting laws. If you drive and text, you will pay.