Thruway work zone speed cameras to be tested throughout the state

The pilot program will last 5 years
Posted at 11:21 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 23:21:17-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said 1,844 roadside construction workers died in an on-the-job accident between 2003 and 2017. That is an average of 123 deaths per year.

Maintaining the state thruway is necessary but often dangerous work.

“This work is performed by our dedicated employees and our contractors who are often mere inches from high-speed traffic,” Thruway Authority Director Matthew Driscoll said.

New York State said there were 701 crashes in work zones in 2018. 13 people died and 329 drivers and construction workers were injured.

“That is just unacceptable,” Driscoll said.

Now, to help reduce speeding in construction zones, the state thruway authority plans to hold people accountable.

“30 cameras across this entire state as a pilot program that will be put in place to slow individuals down on the thruways,” State Senator Tim Kennedy said.

A pilot program will have speed cameras set up in ten work zones along the thruway. Locations will be determined by speed, roadway geometry and crash history.

Maryland’s department of transportation launched a similar program in 2010.

They found seven percent of drivers broke the work zone speed limit by at least 12 miles per hour the year they implemented the cameras. Less than one percent of drivers received a violation in 2019.

New York’s pilot program will last five years -- and will only strictly monitor construction zones.

“This was driven by the workers, driven by those in the construction industry that are out there in the job,” Kennedy said.

Most people who attended a virtual forum on Wednesday supported the plan.

The Thruway Authority did not have a timeline for when the cameras will be installed.