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State says initiatives to keep highway workers safe have been successful

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the successful outcomes of various initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety of highway workers and motorists in New York State. These measures include the Automated Work Zone Speed Monitoring Pilot Program, a collaboration between state transportation agencies and law enforcement, and the enhanced “Move Over” law. These initiatives are part of the state’s concerted effort to improve highway safety, particularly in work zones, as the construction season concludes with the onset of winter.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Monitoring Pilot Program, launched in April 2023, targets speed limit compliance in work zones. By November 22, the program issued 133,640 notices of liability to motorists for speeding violations in work zones, with some drivers clocked at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. The program, which applies to specific sites operated by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the New York State Thruway, has resulted in notable speed reductions. Fines range from $50 for a first violation to $100 for third and subsequent violations within 18 months.

Additionally, “Operation Hardhat,” an initiative involving State Troopers and local police officers disguised as highway workers, has been instrumental in enforcing traffic laws in work zones. In 2023, the operation led to the issuance of 2,919 tickets for various violations, including speeding, cell phone usage, and failure to obey traffic control devices. The violations were spread across various regions of the state, with Utica/Mohawk Valley recording the highest number of tickets.

The enhanced “Move Over” law, signed in September 2023, requires drivers to exercise caution around all stopped vehicles on roadways, expanding its coverage beyond emergency and hazard vehicles. This amendment aims to reduce roadside collisions, a significant safety issue highlighted by the tragic experience of Karen Torres, whose father was fatally struck by a vehicle while working in a NYSDOT road crew. The law’s expansion reflects New York’s commitment to the safety of all individuals on its roadways.

Categories: New York StateNews