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New York Law Carries Harsh Penalties for Work Zone Violations

Orange construction cones and signs can mean headaches, bad traffic and long detours for many motorists in New York. They also mean possible traffic tickets carrying stiffer penalties for drivers caught speeding in construction zones. As a result of several workers being killed in 2005, the State of New York passed the Work Zone Safety Act, which significantly changed the penalties for work zone violations by drivers.

Drivers should note the big changes in penalties brought by the legislation. The fines for speeding are doubled and the state created a Traffic Incident Management Team, which includes 100 troopers from around the state who specifically deal with work zones. In addition, drivers who have two work zone violations within an 18-month period will have their license suspended.

What may be surprising to some drivers is that there are two types of work zones that are involved in this legislation. There is the common stationary zone such as repaving a road or fixing a bridge. However, the violations can also happen in movable work zones such as repainting the lines on a road or highway. This can be very important to know especially given the change for repeat offenders and the sheer amount of construction projects that encompass the state's roads and highways every construction season.

Work zones can also pose dangerous conditions for drivers such as loose pavement, uneven roadways and narrowed lanes. Of all of the traffic fatalities that occur on the nation's roadways every year, 3 percent of them occur in work zones. Drivers should also be aware of the possible severe penalties associated with potential traffic violations in these work zones and take steps to avoid violations.

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