New speed cameras aim to make NY roads safer for highway workers

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
New speed cameras to make NY roads safer for highway workers
A new program to keep highway workers safe on the job kicked off Wednesday.

DIX HILLS, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A new program to keep highway workers safe on the job kicked off Wednesday.

The pilot program places new speed violation monitoring systems along New York state highways in active work zones.

The Automated Work Zone Speed Monitoring Program is a joint initiative between the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the New York State Thruway Authority.

The system consists of cameras mounted on 30 vehicles parked in various active highway work zones across the state.

One camera is mounted on the back of each vehicle, another on the top.

The cameras will snap a picture of your license plate if you go over the normal highway speed limit while in a construction zone.

You will then receive a ticket in the mail.

Wednesday's rollout comes in the middle of National Work Zone Awareness Week, which spotlights issues in and around work zones.

The speed cameras are designed to help prevent tragedies like one that happened on Long Island back in 2006.

That's when a DOT highway maintenance worker named Patrick Mapleson from Miller Place, Suffolk County was killed.

Mapleson's daughter told Eyewitness News it happened on Sunrise Highway.

"On March 17, 2006 my dad and his crew were out filling in potholes when a cement truck driver entered the work zone," said Karen Torres. "He was speeding, and he was also distracted - distracted by a water bottle that he reached for to grab. And by doing that, that caused him to pull the steering wheel down with him, and he veered over. And he crashed into the work zone, running over my dad."

Advocates say the rate of fatalities from all causes has not substantially improved over the last 10 years.

They point to a total of 225 highway worker fatalities in 2020 and 2021.

And the fatality rate continued to increase in 2021, which saw a 14% increase in work zone fatalities involving drivers and passengers.

ALSO READ | Collapsed parking garage had several open violations

According to the NYC Department of Buildings, the building in Tuesday afternoon's parking garage collapse has six open violations.


* More Long Island news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.