ALBANY — Drivers across the country are being reminded to be vigilant and take precautions to stay safe while traveling and shopping this holiday season.
State police and the state Department of Motor Vehicles offer tips to improve traffic safety and help consumers keep their purchases safe.
“Help keep your holiday season enjoyable by making smart and responsible decisions while driving,” said Mark JF Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and Chairman of the Governor’s Highway Safety Committee in a news release. “Ensure your safety and that of other road users by not driving while distracted, protect trees before moving them and, as always, don’t drive while impaired.”
Acting New York State Police Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “It may sound simple, but whether you’re shopping at a mall or online, always be aware of your surroundings. When you go shopping, protect your valuables and try to shop with others if you can. While shopping online, make sure you only buy from reputable websites and check your financial statements regularly.
“When traveling this holiday season, don’t drive drunk, impaired, or distracted and make sure your car is in good condition before you go to your destination,” he continued. “By being vigilant and taking the right precautions, you can help keep holiday shopping and travel safe for all.”
State Police urged consumers to be vigilant and offer the following tips:
n Shop with a friend or in a group.
n If you are shopping alone, don’t be afraid to ask security guards to escort you to your car.
n Store your purchases in the trunk of your car, under a blanket or in an out-of-sight location.
n Do not leave valuables in your car.
n Avoid carrying too much cash and keep your cash and credit cards in the front pocket.
Motorists are advised to ensure their vehicles are clear of snow before leaving.
Snow must be completely removed from the front, rear and side windows, as well as the rear view mirrors.
It should also be removed from the roof and hoods, so that it does not slide down suddenly or explode and obscure the view of the driver or the view of other drivers.
The DMV provides winter driving tips to help motorists prepare for the trip and provides guidance if they encounter snow or ice, including how to handle slipping.
New Yorkers buying a real holiday tree need to make sure it’s properly secured before driving. The driver must have an unobstructed view of all windows. Drivers can face penalties if an unprotected tree falls on their vehicle.
Regarding vehicle decoration, the DMV reminds motorists that it is illegal to install decorative lights on their car, truck or SUV, and doing so could result in a ticket. Other decorations must be secure and not obstruct the driver’s view, the vehicle’s headlights or license plates.
For more information about the DMV, visit dmv.ny.gov, or follow the DMV on Facebook,