Video: DEC police car tailgating, cutting off cars

Video: DEC police car tailgating, cutting off cars

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Most drivers know to get out of the way when a police or emergency vehicle approaches. But Thursday morning one such vehicle caused some confusion and some close calls: a state Department of Environmental Conservation Police Crown Vic cruiser.

A Fox 5 employee recorded the video after observing the officer's driving westbound on the Long Island Expressway around 7:30 a.m.

At this point you see the officer tailgating a Toyota Prius in the middle lane to the point the Prius moves off to the right.

After weaving in and out of traffic things get more serious with a Jeep Cherokee. The video shows the cruiser as it cuts off the Jeep, forcing the driver to slam the breaks to narrowly avoid a rear end crash. Passengers in the Jeep were still shaken when asked about the incident just outside the Midtown Tunnel.

"Commuting from long island is crazy on a regular basis, anyway," the passenger said. "Having the police make it worse not better is nuts. I'm sorry the DEC had a bad day. It shouldn't be my problem or my risk."

After the close call with the Jeep, the Crown Vic does the same thing to a pick-up truck. That driver also slammed on the brakes to avoid collision.

We showed the video to attorney Martin Kron, a former New York City traffic court judge trained by the DMV. Kron now specializes in traffic law with his son, Daniel.

"If you or I were caught doing this on the roadway, we would have been slapped with 3 or 4 summonses for failure to signal, unsafe lane change as well as following too closely as well as a criminal complaint for reckless driving," he said.

At least one witness said he saw the cop on a cellphone at some point. But at no point were his lights and siren on, typically the standard notice to drivers that officers are responding to an emergency, which does not appear to be the case here. further reason Kron said that the officer should have set a better driving example.

"We can tell also tell by the speed that the officer was going that there was no emergency here," Kron said. "I mean if the officer were involved in an emergency situation these moves would be warranted, but from the circumstances we see here, there was not an emergency and these moves were not warranted… So it makes the situation that much more dangerous where sometimes officers are justified in doing what he did but there is no notice in this situation."

We made several efforts by phone and email to contact the department of environmental conservation for comment on our story. we have yet to hear back as of Thursday night.

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