Police across New York State will be increasing patrols looking to catching speeding drivers.

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On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State Police and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols over the next week to crack down on speeding across the state.

Unsafe speed was a contributing factor in 34 percent of all fatal crashes from January to May this year, compared to 30 percent of fatal crashes during the same period in 2019, according to data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany's Rockefeller College.

"Speed limits are not a suggestion, they are the law and they save lives," Cuomo said. "There is no excuse for driving at high speeds - it's unnecessary and endangers everyone on the road -- and I urge New Yorkers to be smart and slow down because it's not worth risking lives to save a few seconds on your next commute or trip to the store."

Data shows fatal crashes in New York caused by unsafe speed increases during the summer months with the highest totals in June through September, officials say. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2018, nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the state were caused by speeding, and among those fatalities, 42 percent occurred on local roads.

In 2018, 36 percent of the speed-related fatal and personal injury crashes occurred between noon and 6 P.M.

"There's no getting around the facts: Speeding is dangerous behavior that needlessly results in deaths and serious injuries. During this campaign and through enforcement efforts all year, our goal is to reduce speed-related crashes and improve safe travel for everyone on New York's roadways. We urge all drivers - do your part to improve safety and obey posted speed limits, drive defensively, and put away your smartphone when you're behind the wheel," State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said.

According to the NHTSA, drivers who speed are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as not wearing a seat belt, drinking and driving, or using a cell phone while driving.