Motorists urged to use caution driving through work zones

The warmer weather brings more road work, and drivers are being urged to use caution when traveling through work zones.

News 12 Staff

Apr 13, 2022, 5:11 PM

Updated 737 days ago

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The warmer weather brings more road work, and drivers are being urged to use caution when traveling through work zones.
April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and this week is National Work Zone Awareness Week.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a pilot program that would place speed cameras in work zones to catch drivers who disobey the law.
"Operation: Hardhat" is also underway, which places police officers dressed as construction workers in work zones to identify motorists who speed.
A Miller Place woman knows all too well the heartbreak of distracted driving and how it can kill road crew workers. Karen Torres lost her father in a work zone crash on St. Patrick's Day in 2006 when a speeding driver in a cement truck was distracted by a water bottle he had dropped. He slammed into a pothole repair site on Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County and ran over her father.
Torres has spent years talking to students and other groups, retelling her story of how distracted driving and speeding killed her father.
"I honestly can't think of a better way of honoring my dad then going around and sharing his story with the hopes I can impact one person in the room," Torres says. "If I do that, it makes it all worth it."
Torres and the Department of Transportation are also reminding motorists of the Move Over Law, which requires drivers to slow down when they drive near emergency vehicles and to safely move over to the next lane when possible.
Stephen Canzoneri, of the NYS DOT, says they average around 100 tickets every time they go out with troopers.
"They caught people for not moving over, cell phones, speeding and drunk driving," Canzoneri says.
There are fines as high as $400, and drivers can get points on their licenses if they violate that law.
The DOT says there were 378 work zone accidents in 2021. Fifty of those were serious.


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