National Guard Sending in Military Police To Enforce Driving Ban In Buffalo
The country has been hit with a historic, potentially once-in-a-lifetime storm and the recovery efforts have been steady, but moving slowly. Many areas of Western New York have been hit hard and that has shown its impact in the fact that so many people have been stuck and stranded, along with the thousands of people that lost power during the height of the storm.
Snow removal efforts have taken a while due to several factors, one being the sheer amount of snow that fell and blew around as the blizzard raged on. However, that isn't the only that has slowed down clean-up.
There have been multiple driving and travel bans that had been put in place in an attempt to keep cars and trucks off the roads. Road conditions were so bad that emergency response services were suspended because nearly 70% of emergency vehicles were stuck in the snow.
Those conditions, unfortunately, did not stop many in Western New York from attempting to go out on the roads in their cars. There were hundreds of stuck cars on snow-clogged roads preventing emergency vehicles from getting to people and preventing snow removal crews from clearing the streets.
Even as roads were opened, there remained lots of people who defied the driving ban and were on the roads for reasons other than an emergency.
Due to this, the New York State National Guard has announced they are sending in at least 100 Military Police Officers to enforce the driving ban.
...street(s) is just ugly, we have major pieces of equipment, gigantic high lifts and dump trucks are coming in to try and scoop the snow up to open up streets, and at the same time remove abandoned vehicles and people are trying to drive around it in little Honda Civic's.. A report that came in from the Department of Public Works was a vehicle that was stuck on Ridge Road was a Camaro. That's a great vehicle for the summer, it is not the vehicle to be driving in slippery bad conditions in winter, never the less the greatest blizzard we've ever seen.
-Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive
Officials are begging people to stay off the roads, but if people will not follow the ban, then steps are being taken to ensure people are safe and emergency crews can get through. Military Police are set to be stationed at key intersections in and around Buffalo
If you are caught driving in the ban, law enforcement authorities are able to issue a class "B" misdemeanor charge and impound your vehicle.