National Work Zone Awareness Week launches new construction season

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New York Construction Report staff writer

National Work Zone Awareness Week wraps up today as New York’s construction season kicks off.

“The men and women working out there on roadways across New York are doing it for our safety—and every New Yorker owes it to them to keep them safe as they do that important work,” said Associated General Contractors of New York State President and CEO Mike Elmendorf. “They are out there working in often dangerous conditions to make sure we all get home safely to our families; it is the obligation of all motorists to make sure every one of them gets home safely to theirs.

“New Yorkers need to pay attention, stay focused, slow down and move over in work zones. AGC NYS commends the efforts of our industry, labor and public agency partners for providing critical awareness of work zone safety through National Work Zone Awareness Week and beyond.”

The theme for 2023 is, “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us!” and an Automated Work Zone Speed Monitoring Pilot Program is underway to help enforce speed limits in highway construction and maintenance work zones, a joint initiative between the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority. A total of 30 speed violation monitoring systems that rely on RADAR technology will be positioned in active work zones along New York State highways – 20 on NYSDOT maintained roads and 10 on the New York State Thruway.

“As we officially kick off construction season in New York as well as National Work Zone Awareness Week, I thank highway workers across the state who put their lives on the line to maintain and enhance the roads that we all rely on every day,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “This new pilot program will be instrumental in encouraging safe driving habits in highway work zones and protecting the lives of those who help maintain a safe and reliable highway system.”

New York State has experienced a rising number of work zone speed violations in recent years, resulting in numerous highway worker injuries and several deaths among state and contractor personnel.

For the first 30 days of the pilot, speeding motorists will be issued warning Notices of Liability, with actual Notices being issued 30 days after the initial rollout.

The State Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority are also launching a comprehensive public awareness campaign to include various advertising and social media opportunities that target drivers across the State.

“The women and men who work in highway construction and maintenance work zones are noble public servants who make it possible for the rest of us to travel safely to our destinations across New York State,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez.  “This new program, which is being launched during National Work Zone Awareness Week, will give us the tools to better monitor violations within our construction and maintenance work zones, and serve as a reminder that we all need to slow down, put our phones down and above all, be alert.”

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