CSEA message to New York state drivers: "Don't Zone Out"
Next Week is National Work Zone Awareness Safety week
ALBANY, NY (03/18/2015)(readMedia)-- With the roadwork season nearly upon us, scores of CSEA members will be out on roads, bridges and highways repairing the damage inflicted during the brutal winter months. These men and women are at serious risk for injury or death at the hands of drivers who ignore the law and blast through work zones unaware that lives are at stake, including their own.
March 23-27 is National Work Zone Awareness Week. There is no better time to remind motorists about the dangers of distracted driving and driving carefully through work zones.
Distracted driving is a serious problem and for CSEA, it's personal. Too many road workers lose their lives or are injured each year. Since recordkeeping began in 1983, nearly 50 CSEA members have lost their lives on the job in highway work zones.
These incidents are not only tragic, they are preventable.
"In an instant, distracted driving can kill and change lives forever," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "Keep in mind that most traffic zone deaths and injuries involve the traveling public; so when you pay attention, the life you save may be your own."
CSEA is promoting its Don't Zone Out message through a variety of traditional and social media channels and is also working with minor league baseball teams in New York to get the word out throughout the season again. CSEA has had great success reaching hundreds of thousands of people with our safety message.
Since CSEA's "Don't Zone Out" campaign began in 2010, many other awareness campaigns across the country have also been established. As a result, distracted driving related deaths and injuries were dramatically decreased. Nationwide, in 2009 distracted driving reportedly killed almost 6,000 people. In 2012 (most recent statistic on record), the number fell to 3,000 deaths, but the message must always be reinforced.
CSEA is also reminding drivers about the state's "move over law." Nearly three years ago, CSEA successfully supported an amendment to the state "move over law" to include road workers. Motorists are required, when possible, to change lanes when they approach an incident where there is a vehicle with flashing red lights (such as police or fire) but also for amber lights (road workers) as well. When it is not possible to move over or there is only one lane, drivers must slow down. The penalty is a moving violation, can carry penalties of 5 points on your license, up to $400 fine plus court surcharges and a possible jail sentence.
WHAT THE PUBLIC CAN DO:
- Move over for amber lights, or police lights.
- Obey posted speed limits.
- Put the phone down and drive.
- Never send or read text messages while driving.
- In work zones, focus only on your driving.
- If someone calls you while you're driving, ignore it.
- Help spread the word.
- Join the Don't Zone Out Facebook community and help build awareness: www.facebook.com/DontZoneOut.
Note: Media wishing to arrange interviews with highway workers about this issue may contact the CSEA Communications Specialist in your area.
Long Island Region: Rich Impagliazzo / 631-462-0030
Southern Region: Jessica Ladlee / 845-831-1000
Capital Region: Therese Assalian / 518-785-4400
Central Region: Mark Kotzin / 315-433-0050
Western Region: Ed Molitor / 518-257-1272 or 800-342-4146 Ext 1272