March 20, 2015
By Danny Donohue
Next week is National Work Zone awareness week, and the union representing men and women working on road crews throughout the state is urging motorists to stow their cell phones, be more mindful, and pay close attention to warning lights when driving.
Nearly 50 members of the The Civil Service Employees Union [CSEA] have been killed on the job in highway work zones since 1983.
"In an instant, distracted driving can kill and change lives forever," CSEA President Danny Donohoe warns. "Keep in mind [too], that most traffic zone deaths and injuries involve the traveling public. So, when you pay attention, the life you save may be your own."
This spring, the CSEA is teaming up with minor league baseball clubs throughout the Empire State in an all-out effort to get the "Don't Zone Out" message to the driving public.
Since the CSEA first launched its roadway awareness campaign five years ago, distracted driving deaths around the country have decreased dramatically. In 2009, distracted driving contributed to 6,000 deaths nationwide. By 2012, that grim figure had fallen to 3,000 deaths, as other awareness campaigns across the nation began to follow CSEA's lead.
New York's "Move Over" law now also requires motorists to change lanes or slow down when approaching hazardous road conditions and active work zones. Failure to do so could cost you 5 points on your license, a $400, fine and possible jail time. So, "Don't Zone Out!"