Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Broome) announced a bill she sponsored to improve the safety of highway construction workers and motorists passed the Assembly (A.1691-A), and will be sent to the governor for approval.
"A recent tragedy in which three workers were killed by a bus in a Castle Creek construction zone brought home the danger highway workers face day to day," Lupardo said. "Unfortunately, this was hardly an isolated incident. Highway work zones are becoming more and more dangerous, with workers’ lives put at risk by more than 2,000 crashes each year in New York."
The Work Zone Safety Act of 2005 would help improve worker safety by addressing the root cause of these accidents: speeding and driver inattention. The measure would:
- impose a 60-day license suspension for motorists convicted of two or more speeding violations in a posted highway construction or maintenance work area;
- create a mandatory $50 surcharge for speeding violations in highway construction or maintenance zones;
- step up law enforcement through greater police presence at all major active work zones and use of radar speed displays; and
- enhance review of work zone safety and design by law enforcement, relevant state agencies and representatives for contractors and laborers.
Lupardo noted the measure would also boost efforts to educate the public by creating a highway construction and maintenance safety education program designed to protect workers through public service announcements, distribution of literature and public awareness campaigns.
"Motorists need to understand the role they play in keeping highway workers’ safe. Ultimately, this measure will remind drivers to exercise caution and help prevent accidents," Lupardo said. "When driving in a work zone, motorists must slow down, pay attention, and remember that the men and women keeping our roads in good repair have children, spouses or parents waiting for them to come home safe."