Requires state police presence at certain work zones.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the transportation law and the executive law, in relation to work requiring members of the state police at certain work zones
PURPOSE: This bill requires that a state police officer and car be present at certain work zones to increase safety.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 defines this bill as DJ's law.
Section 2 amends section 22 subsection (a) of the transportation law, as added by chapter 223 of the laws of 2005, to add the requirement of police presence in certain work zones with daily traffic that exceeds 5,000 vehicles per day and has a regularly posted speed in excess of 45mph.
Section 2 also adds a second section to section 22 of the transportation law, as added by chapter 223 of the laws of 2005, that requires the department of transportation include the costs associated with policing in the overall project cost.
Section 3 amends the executive law by adding a new section (215-a) that lays out the procedure by which off-duty officers will be selected and compensated for the time they spend in the work zone.
Section 4 is the enacting clause.
JUSTIFICATION: DJ's law is named for David "DJ" Baldi of Hamburg, NY who was tragically killed on Tuesday November 16, 2010 while working on a construction project on Interstate 190-S in Buffalo.
DJ was working on Interstate 190-S, and was following all state and federal safety regulations when a propane tanker truck swerved across 3 lanes and struck the platform DJ was working on in the right hand lane. DJ tragically and instantly lost his life.
Unfortunately, DJ's story is not unique. In 2009 there were 667 fatalities as a result of automobile crashes in work zones across the country.
This bill will help save lives and keep people safe by adding an additional precaution to get people to slow down and be more aware as they enter work zones on high-traffic/high-speed roads.
A study conducted by the Transportation Research Board found that in the long term using a police car with lights flashing and active radar was successful in reducing speeds by 8.4mph in one lane closures and 6.4mph in two lane closures. A similar study found that a stationary patrol car was able to reduce mean speeds in work zones by between 4-12mph.
Currently many states including Rhode Island and Arizona, as well as the city of Boston use uniform police officers in all work zones. In addition, even more states, including: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have responded to surveys saying police presence in work zones has been the most effective method of ensuring work zone safety. Many states use some form of policing in some work zones. A survey of state highway agencies, state law enforcement agencies, contractors, and suppliers conducted by the Federal Highway Administration found that 72% of states use highway construction funds to cover the costs associated with the increased policing.
New York State does have a current program that provides some limited police presence in work zones. Operation Hard Hat is a program utilized by DOT and the NYS Thruway Authority that includes NYS Troopers located inconspicuously in construction zones. This officer then radios to a chase car further down the road to stop anyone violating the speed limit. While this program is successful in punishing those who are speeding it does not necessarily serve as a warning signal for drivers to slow down as they approach the work zone. As a result it is not as effective in improving public safety. Furthermore, Operation Hard Hat is not used in all "high speed, high traffic" work zones.
An officer stationed in a car at the beginning of any high speed/high traffic work zone would be a more effective way of protecting those people who are working on the road.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None as the cost associated with policing would come out of the Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authorities existing budget.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 120th day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5350 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 10, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the transportation law and the executive law, in relation to work requiring members of the state police at certain work zones THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as "DJ's Law". S 2. Section 22 of the transportation law, as added by chapter 223 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: S 22. Work zone safety and enforcement. 1. The department shall, in cooperation with the superintendent of state police, the commissioner of motor vehicles, the chairman of the New York state thruway authority, local law enforcement agencies and representatives for contractors and laborers, develop and implement rules and regulations for the increased safety of work zones. Such rules and regulations shall include, but shall not be limited to
[,]: (A) REQUIRING a police presence at all major active work zones as defined by rules and regulations set forth by the commissioner, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY CONSTRUCTION, REPAIR OR STRIPING ON OR AROUND ANY EXPRESSWAY ON WHICH AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC EXCEEDS FIVE THOU- SAND VEHICLES PER DAY AND THE REGULARLY POSTED SPEED LIMIT EXCEEDS FORTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR SHALL HAVE A NEW YORK STATE TROOPER PRESENT WITH A RADAR DETECTOR AND RED AND BLUE FLASHING LIGHTS TURNED ON ANY TIME A WORK CREW IS PRESENT; (B) the use of radar speed display signs at all major active work zones as defined by rules and regulations set forth by the commission- er [,]; and (C) a system for reviewing work zone safety and design for all work zones under the jurisdiction of the department.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10797-03-1 S. 5350 2
2. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL INCLUDE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH POLICING PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION AS PART OF THE OVERALL PROJECT COST THEREBY INCLUDING SUCH COST IN THE BIDDING PROCESS. THE COSTS SHALL BE INCLUDED AND ITEMIZED UNDER THAT PORTION OF THE BID LABELED MAINTENANCE AND PROTECTION OF TRAFFIC. S 3. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 215-a to read as follows: S 215-A. STATE POLICE AT CERTAIN WORK ZONES. 1. ANY MEMBER OF THE STATE POLICE MAY VOLUNTEER TO WORK FOR THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWENTY-TWO OF THE TRANSPORTATION LAW. 2. PAYMENT FOR SUCH WORK SHALL BE AT SUCH MEMBER'S CURRENT PAY SCALE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL PAY SUCH MEMBERS. S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend- ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen- tation of this act on its effective date is authorized to be made on or before such effective date.