On Tuesday we were reminded yet again of the inherent danger construction workers face while simply doing their jobs. Tragically, two New York State Department of Transportation workers were injured within a work zone on the Northway – during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week and Governor Cuomo’s annual Operation Hard Hat initiative, which are both designed to crack down on speeding and distracted driving in construction work zones. From our union to the NYSDOT, we join you in hoping for a speedy recovery for the two injured workers. 

Workers on the job deserve every protection that could possibly be afforded – that means ensuring attentive drivers that slow down in work zones. 

What occurred Tuesday serves as a reminder that workers risk their lives every day to perform critical work to keep New York’s roadways operational, maintained and safe for drivers. And it’s our legislature’s responsibility to pass laws that help protect the men and women who perform this work. 

For two years, the New York State Laborers Union has supported legislation that would implement a photo enforcement program in work zones to enforce the speed limit and fine drivers who don’t comply. Similar programs utilized across the country have drastically reduced injuries and deaths in work zones, and dramatically curbed speeding violations. 

This is common sense legislation that the New York State Senate has shown tremendous leadership in working to pass. It’s legislation that has the ability to remind drivers to be alert, maintain an appropriate speed and respect the people on the job. At its core, this legislation is about respect; and we ask all our elected leaders, out of respect for worker safety, to pass photo enforcement in work zones. 

Patrick Purcell, Executive Director, NYS Laborers’ LECET and Greater New York LECET 

Frank Marchese, Jr. Executive Director, NYS Laborers’ Health and Safety Trust Fund

John Hutchings, Executive Director, NYS Laborers’ PAC