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Major spike in work zone traffic fines in Finger Lakes

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul has released the year-end data reflecting a significant increase in traffic tickets issued in work zones across the state. This comes as part of a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety of highway workers and motorists, particularly as construction activities conclude with the onset of winter.

The measures include a new speed enforcement pilot program in work zones, a collaborative effort between state transportation agencies and local and state law enforcement. This initiative not only aims to protect those in work zones but also extends its safeguard to motorists in disabled vehicles.

As of November 22, Governor Hochul reported a total of 133,640 notices of liability issued to motorists statewide, including 95,861 from work zones managed by the State Department of Transportation and 37,779 from the New York State Thruway zones. The Finger Lakes region alone accounted for 32,578 of these violations, highlighting the extensive reach of this enforcement effort. The distribution of notices across various regions, including Long Island and New York City, underscores the statewide emphasis on work zone safety.

Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of these safety measures, noting that highway workers often encounter motorists speeding over 100 miles per hour in monitored zones. The Automated Work Zone Speed Monitoring Pilot Program, launched in April 2023, is central to these efforts.

Violations under this program carry a tiered fine structure, with penalties escalating from $50 for a first violation to $100 for third and subsequent violations within 18 months. Unpaid fines can lead to a hold on vehicle registration renewals, reinforcing the zero-tolerance policy towards reckless driving in work zones.

A significant portion of the funds collected through this program is allocated to supplementing work zone safety projects, furthering the state’s commitment to roadway safety.