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5/17/2005
New York Court Lets Environmental Cops Issue Speeding Tickets
Text of the New York Appeals Court decision expanding authority of Department of Environmental Protection to set up speed traps.

Judge Victoria Graffeo
In a 5-4 decision, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Water Supply Police have the authority to issue speeding tickets outside city limits. The DEP police were created in 1906 to protect the city's water supply, and have jurisdiction within the city watershed which spans 2000 miles across eight counties.

The state's top court argued that speeding tickets will help protect the water supply. Writing for the majority, Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote, "A DEP officer who observes a motorist traveling at high speed in excess of posted limits could be justifiably concerned that the driver poses a danger to the watershed because of the increased probability of an accident that could cause a '[p]etroleum product' or other pollutants to be discharged onto watershed lands, which would seep into groundwater or flow toward a water supply site."

The full text of the case is available below in 141k PDF format.

Source: PDF File People v. Van Buren (New York Court of Appeals, 5/10/2005)

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