(L-R) are Ross Pepe, Joan Dupont and Steve Nevins
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), New York State Police and Construction Industry Council (CIC) united to extend their annual message on the importance of worker and motorist safety in highway construction zones. The agencies gathered June 10 at the Visitor’s Center on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Rockland County, where a NYSDOT highway crew was performing pavement repairs.
“While most of us go to jobs in an office, a store, a restaurant, many Department of Transportation employees go to work out on the road,” said Joan Dupont, NYSDOT Hudson Valley regional director. “Highway construction zones are dangerous for workers and motorists alike, so drivers need to pay careful attention and follow the rules of the road so everyone can get home safely each night.”
“Motorists need to be aware that highway work zones are most active during the warm months of the summer,” said Captain Steve Nevins, New York State Police Zone II commander, Troop “F”. “Troopers will be assigned specifically to work zones, ensuring the safety of those working on those highway projects. Specifically, Troopers will target speeding/aggressive drivers and those using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. It is our goal to make the highways safe for those traveling and those working on them.”
According to Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) latest statistics from 2007, 835 fatalities resulted from motor vehicle crashes in a work zone. In addition, more than 40,000 people across the country are injured each year as a result of accidents in the work zone.
“Work zone safety is a priority of the construction industry,” said Ross Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and the Hudson Valley. “Industry contractors spend many hours training their lead personnel and onsite workers on the latest requirements and safety practices. This ensures a safe work environment for all employees and for the safety of the travelling public.”