NEW YORK CITY – Motorcoach drivers traveling in New York City have something new to keep an eye out for: state troopers.
New York State Police, normally known for patrolling upstate highways, have stepped up their traffic enforcement in New York City.
Critics say state troopers handed out 14,542 summonses to New York City motorists in the first four months of this year — a 759 percent increase from all of last year, when they wrote 1,692 tickets.
Troopers wrote only four tickets in 2015 and none in 2014.
Most of the tickets issued by troopers this year have been for speeding and cellphone use.
There is speculation that by deploying 150 more troopers to patrol city highways, bridges and tunnel crossings in December, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was seeking to increase state revenue and to take a political jab at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is a good old-fashioned turf war,” a city elected official told the New York Post. “This is the governor trying to show the mayor that all of New York is the governor’s turf.”
The governor’s office said the additional troopers were deployed in December to patrol state-owned bridges and tunnels with the crossings transitioning to cashless tolls. They provide extra security amid worldwide terror threats targeting infrastructure and to catch toll scofflaws.