It's a busy construction season, so it's no wonder you see them everywhere: signs telling you to slow down in work areas. Well, this week the State Police are going to make sure you obey those speed limits as part of Operation Work Brake. Our Megan Cruz staked out some construction areas and has the story.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- You may hear sirens a lot this week as "Operation Work Brake" is in effect. The week-long campaign is to discourage people from speeding in work zones.
"What are you thinking? You have to take it easy," said Trooper Matt Culhane. He's with Troop T of the New York State Police.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there's more than 1,200 traffic-related work zone accidents a year.
"There's not a lot of leeway if you drift out of your lane," said Culhane. "There's no shoulder to drift on. So if you hit that jersey barrier, it's probably going to shoot you back into the lane, possibly crossing the second lane and if there's a car along side you, you'll have a multiple car accident."
One of the major work zones in the area is on I-87 between exits 23 and 24. Trooper Culhane said while the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, he's caught people traveling in the 80s, even 90s.
"Some of them apologize, some people just don't realize they're speeding in a work zone," he said.
For their sake, Culhane hopes they pay more attention because the penalties are pretty steep.
"The drivers face between anywhere from $200 to $400, $500 fines coming from speeding through the work zone," said Culhane. "Depends on their driving record and also each individual town of city their driving through."
Then, after two work zone speeding tickets, your license is suspended.
"It's mainly about safety - the construction worker's safety, the motorists' safety," said Culhane. "If we can do what we can to slow people down, it's definitely safer."