The summertime season is finally here to stay. With it comes the hassle of roadway construction. Back in April, New York State’s Department of Transportation (DOT) announced their significant redesign plans concerning the areas surrounding Interstates 81 and 690.

The project’s purpose is to incorporate an efficient community grid that will eventually replace I-81. It is expected to take place over the course of the next five years, with developments beginning as soon as this summer. Drivers should take caution and expect to see an increase in various work zones throughout the central area.

Work zone laws enforce roadway safety regulations

In 2018, New York State’s DOT reported an approximate 701 work zone related crashes, resulting in 13 casualties. Further developments on current roadway projects has the state promoting work zone safety to help protect both drivers and construction workers.

The “Move Over” Law in New York requires drivers to take caution in highway safety. Vehicles are legally obligated to slow down and move over for emergency and sanitation vehicles, as well as roadway hazard, construction and maintenance crews. This law clarifies that drivers should not confuse this with  requiring drivers to simply yield in similar situations.

Unintended consequences

New York State DOT employee, Dennis Howe, fell victim earlier this year to a work zone related accident in Tioga County. Howe was performing regular highway safety duties when he was struck by semi-driver’s vehicle. After a thorough investigation, the citied driver was found guilty due to violation of New York’s “Move Over” Law.

A consequence of the statewide Move Over Law can result in moving violation citations. State police is said to increase highway patrols and to strictly enforce regulations over the season. Drivers found guilty of this can face up to $450 in direct fines, in addition to a potential increase in insurance premiums.

Work zone safety is essential to protect the lives of both crew workers and drivers, especially during the summer season. Motorists are advised to practice safe driving behaviors that reduce the potential of an accident. Construction and maintenance crews pose as a severe risk to traffic, especially to those who may be distracted. During a high volume of work zones throughout the area, ensure safety by following rules and regulations, such as the Move Over Law.