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Law enforcement is beefing up their presence on thruways for the holiday weekend. This is the second year in a row that State Police and Canadian lawmen are joining forces to combat distracted driving.

The effort is named “Safety Without Borders” and has shown to make a huge impact on Western New York drivers. New York State Police Sergeant David Martek said because of the programs debut last year there were zero fatalities and car accidents during last years Easter weekend.

“There is an increase in traffic, but I think what we proved is when you’re out there and you’re visible and there’s a lot of enforcement efforts going on that it changes peoples behavior,” said Martek.

Martek said distracted driving is not just talking on the phone, texting or eating, but it’s anything that causes you to not be focused while driving.

“Statistically you’re comparable to a person that is legally intoxicated if you’re driving down the road talking on your phone, doesn’t matter if it’s hands free or not the fact that your mind is engaged in something has just diminished your sense of what your looking at out there. Your thought process is distracted by that phone call and you’re just as dangerous as a drunk driver and that’s what I want people to think about when they’re on the road,” said Martek.

Jacey Good has been sharing her story across Western New York about how distracted driving changed her life forever.

“In 2008 my parents and I were driving home from my college graduation when an 18-year-old young man was talking on his cell phone and failed to notice the red light and turned into an intersection, ending up causing a three vehicle collision that took the lives of both my parents and left me in critical conition,” said Good.

Good said her message to young drivers is that there is no text message or phone call that is worth risking your life.  

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