Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #15-042

Scott Gastel/Gloria Chin (212) 839-4850

NYC DOT, DEP, Elected Officials and Partners Encourage Safe Driving in and Around Work Zones Citywide as Part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, March 23-27

This year’s campaign, ‘Expect the Unexpected’, underscores urgent need to protect crews maintaining infrastructure on roads, bridges, sidewalks and tunnels and coincides with new advertisement campaign highlighting safety in and around work zones

New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd kicked off National Work Zone Awareness week today, which is being observed from March 23-27, 2015. Commissioner Trottenberg also announced a new agency advertisement campaign designed to recognize DOT employees’ commitment to their careers as well as to their families. The advertisements serve as a reminder to drivers that crews responsible for work on our city streets are not only valuable to every New Yorker but to their families at home as well.

In New York City, nearly two dozen city DOT workers have been injured in work zone incidents since 2009 and seven died from work zone-related events during the past two decades. While the aim of this advertising campaign is to better protect crews, everyone on city streets benefit—85% of those killed in work zones are motorists or passengers.

The advertisements, which appear on billboards, in newspapers, at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, on DOT vehicles, at local DMV offices and on social media, were unveiled alongside Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Denise Richardson, Executive Director of the General Contractors Association of NY; Andrea Schmitz, VP for Environment, Health and Safety, Con Edison; Chris Levendos, President, New York City, Verizon; Michael Coppola, president, Local 1157 / DOT Supervisory Employees; and Michael DeMarco, president, Local 1455 / Traffic Employees, who joined several members of DOT’s roadway team at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

“While every motorist needs to do their part by slowing down, our new advertising campaign is another important tool to protect our crews in work zones” said DOT Commissioner Trottenberg. “I am proud to partner with local stakeholders to ensure every person who is part of a work crew is able to work safely to keep every pedestrian and motorist moving through our streets.”

 “The men and women of DEP who build and maintain the City’s critical water and wastewater infrastructure, including the nearly 15,000 miles of water mains and sewers, deserve a safe working environment,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. Thanks in part to a comprehensive safety program, in 2014 DEP had zero work zone related incidents or injuries. We look forward to building on this important partnership with DOT, our private utility partners and the public to keep the streets and highways safe for all New Yorkers.”

“The men and women who put their lives at risk every day to improve our roads, bridges must be protected. 85% of those killed in work zones are motorists or pedestrians,” said City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “Thus, the Work Zone Safety Awareness campaign will not only help protect our workers, but also further instill a Vision Zero culture among our citizens and help stop these preventable crashes from occurring,”

 “Driving slow is the way to go in Brooklyn, for the safety of motorists and pedestrians as well as the hard-working men and women in our construction sites and work zones,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I applaud Commissioner Trottenberg for her commitment to safe driving education, an essential component of Vision Zero, and I appreciate the City’s investment in this work zone safety campaign.”

“I want to thank the DOT and the Mayor’s office for supporting the Work Zone Safety Act, this legislation will ensure that those who would put working people in harm’s way will be held accountable,” said State Senator Diane Savino. “I am confident that the Senate will take this bill up and pass it again this session and we hope that the Assembly will also so the Governor can sign this important safety legislation.”

“Through Vision Zero, the Department of Transportation and the de Blasio administration are making our roads safer than ever,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “This initiative is an important reminder that those who help fix our roads are also especially vulnerable. I thank Commissioner Trottenberg and Mayor de Blasio for their continued and effective focus to reduce the dangers faced by the men and women repairing our streets.”

“The people who maintain our roads, like all New Yorkers, have the right to be safe from the danger posed by careless drivers,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for making Vision Zero a top priority and I will continue to work with them and with my colleagues in the legislature for stronger traffic safety laws and better enforcement.”

“Workplace safety is a critical part of successful economic development planning,” said Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz. “We have several major building projects in Sunset Park, including the waterfront and the Gowanus Expressway. Workers and residents both deserve protection from harm as the community is rebuilt. This all helps make a better New York.”

 “At the core of the Vision Zero plan is the goal to decrease fatalities and traffic-related accidents on our streets–including those that may occur in work zones,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “As our city continues to both maintain and improve its physical infrastructure, it must do so taking into account the safety every person. The Zone Watch program provides us a tool to help deter possible accidents, and encourage more responsible motor activity. I commend the NYCDOT, DEP, and all of the advocates who’ve worked to secure the implementation of this important program. I look forward to continuing to realize the full potential of NYC’s Vision Zero.”

“When we talk about great customer service, or doing an installation of FiOS services, or building our fiber network along and under the streets of the City, none of that occurs if our employees are not safe out on the streets and roads,” said Chris Levendos, President, Verizon New York City. “And that starts with motorists who need to be mindful of our workers’ presence and careful with their own driving.”

“National Grid is committed to ensuring the safety of our workers and communities,” said Mike Ruiz, Director, Community and Customer Management, National Grid. “While our work zone sites are set up with every possible safety precaution, the areas require heightened attention from drivers. National Work Zone Awareness Week is a great opportunity to remind motorists to use extreme caution in work zones and to pay attention to warning signs for the safety of both workers and motorists.”

“Construction crews have a busy season ahead given recent reports highlighting poor roadway conditions throughout New York State, and it is absolutely critical that drivers understand the do’s and don’ts of driving within a construction zone,” said Denise Richardson, Executive Director of the General Contractors Association of New York. “In the spirit of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, even one work zone injury or fatality is one too many, so we urge all motorists approaching a work area to put safety first, slow down and obey all traffic laws.”

“We do everything we can to protect the public and our employees around work sites,” said Andrea Schmitz, vice president for Environment, Health and Safety, Con Edison. “We work hard to keep our construction sites well-marked, and we ask pedestrians to keep a safe distance.   Drivers should also avoid picking up and dropping off passengers near construction sites. We applaud the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” policy, and are proud to support National Work Zone Awareness Week.”

“National Grid is committed to ensuring the safety of our workers and communities. While our work zone sites are set up with every possible safety precaution, the areas require heightened attention from drivers,” said Mike Ruiz, Director, Community and Customer Management, National Grid. “National Work Zone Awareness Week is a great opportunity to remind motorists to use extreme caution in work zones and to pay attention to warning signs for the safety of both workers and motorists.”

“Every day our hard working men and women go to work on our roadways,” said Michael Coppola, President, Local 1157, DOT Supervisory Employees. Educating motorists though events such as these is a major step in making sure they arrive home safely to their families.

“It is an honor for my local union (1455, NYC Traffic Employees) to be partners with the NYC DOT on this very important issue,” said Michael DeMarco, President, Local 1455 Traffic Employees. “Because ultimately our goal and mission are the same and that is to keep my members and their employee’ as safe as possible at all times.”

For information about work zone safety, Vision Zero and other efforts, visit nyc.gov/dot or nyc.gov/visionzero.

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