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New York state urges motorists to slow down in work zones


There were more than 400 accidents in road and bridge construction work zones last year in New York state, five of them fatal. The state is hoping to pare down that number this year by asking motorists to slow down in work zones.

Road work is beginning to pop up across New York state like spring flowers. There's already been an accident in New Hartford earlier this month at a mobile work site, according to State Transportation Regional Director Michael Shamma.

"It was followed by an attenuator, that's a vehicle with a crash cushion at the end of it, and it has an arrow board that tells people to move over to the other lane. So, there was really no reason not to move over to the other lane. He didn't apply his breaks until it was too late and he crashed into the cushion," Shamma said.

No one was hurt but vehicles were badly damaged. It illustrates what construction workers like Andy Roberts deal with every day.

"It never leaves your mind. You're always concerned about the traffic. I've worked with the department now for just about 30 years and our concern years ago used to be speed and possibly something with alcohol or drugs. Today, what we're seeing more is cell phone use," Roberts said.

The state is asking motorists to be patient when they come across road work and is also reminding them about the expanded move over law. Motorists will be ticketed if they don't change lanes, when possible, if they come across a work zone or any pulled over hazard vehicles.