No driver enjoys encountering a highway work zone. Even though they’re necessary to improve and repair the roads, they slow down traffic and sometimes require detours. Nonetheless, it’s crucial for drivers to slow down when they encounter these areas and obey all posted signs and directions by workers.
Speeding drivers are particularly dangerous to workers and other motorists, and the state takes speeding in these areas seriously. According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), there were over 1,000 work zone speeding citations issued in the Poughkeepsie/Hudson Valley area alone in 2023. Over 130,000 were issued throughout the state.
What is the AWZSE program?
The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program, managed by NYSDOT and the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), began its rollout last spring. It uses radar and cameras to detect and identify speeding vehicles in construction and maintenance zones. This equipment is on mobile units so it can be placed in whatever areas are determined to require monitoring on any given day.
The information is reviewed by a technician before a “notice of liability” is sent to the registered owner of a car found in violation of the law. They’re responsible for paying the fine even if someone else was driving. Those from out-of-state aren’t exempt from these citations.
What are the consequences of a violation?
The good news is that these violations won’t affect the points on someone’s driver’s license, and insurance companies aren’t notified when they occur. However, fines begin at $50 for a first-time work zone speeding offense. Three or more within 18 months will start costing drivers $100 each. Those who procrastinate dealing with a notice of liability can face late fees on top of that. If someone ignores a notice completely, they won’t be able to renew their vehicle registration until they deal with it.
Vehicle owners have up to 30 days to contest a notice if they believe they have grounds to do so. For example, maybe the speed limit wasn’t posted or was obstructed. Perhaps the vehicle had been stolen or otherwise wasn’t a motorist’s legal responsibility at the time. If you believe you were wrongly cited in such ways, you may want to seek legal guidance to determine how best to handle the matter.