Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder, Department of Public Works (DPW) leadership, LI Contractors’ Association Executive Director Marc Herbst and other public officials to announce a crackdown on reckless driving in work zones throughout the County. The crackdown comes following a series of recent accidents near the Bay Park Conveyance project on Sunrise Highway resulting from speeding and distracted driving, despite the project’s safety measures exceeding Federal requirements.
At the press conference, the County Executive also announced a work zone safety awareness campaign: “Drive like your family works here,” aimed at protecting workers and drivers as the County continues aggressive roadway and infrastructure improvements. As part of the campaign, the County will be launching a new text message service to alert residents of daily lane/road closures and changes to traffic patterns due to County construction and traffic accidents. The press event took place in Rockville Centre, where the County was wrapping up a roadway improvement project, resurfacing 2.11 lane miles of pothole ridden roadway on DeMott Ave from North Village Ave. to Long Beach Road.
“We are keeping our foot on the gas in Nassau, driving forward the most ambitious road repaving campaign in decades and getting residents back to work with large scale infrastructure projects across our County,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I am urging residents to drive through these work zones like your loved one works there because for many residents, they do. Our dedicated crews have a right to safety and our residents have a right to smooth roads and solid infrastructure – we can have it both ways. With our new text service, we are making it easier than ever to be notified of roadwork so residents can plan ahead.”
“I would like to remind all drivers to obey the law and slow down when approaching all construction areas,” said Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder. “These men and women working at these sites watch out for us by improving our roadways, in turn, we should watch out for them by slowing down and paying attention. By doing this, we can ultimately reduce needless injuries and deaths. Our Police Officers will be intensifying their patrols around all roadway construction sites and will have a zero-tolerance approach toward anyone who violates the law.”
“The men and women working to fix Nassau County’s roads deserve to be safe,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “Thanks to County Executive Laura Curran and the Nassau County Police Department for cracking down on drivers who don’t obey the rules and put workers at risk. This is smart enforcement that will prevent accidents and save lives.”
"I applaud Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Nassau County DPW, and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder on their efforts to keep workers safe while repaving our roads and strengthening our infrastructure,” said Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. “This concentrated effort to be respectful of our workers and avoid driving distracted or recklessly will keep everyone safe."
“I am proud to stand with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, and others with the common goal of making our highways and work zones safer,” said LI Contractors’ Association Executive Director Marc Herbst. “The job of roadway construction is important to our infrastructure and local economy, and the very least we can do is ensure workers’ safety for the sake of their families. Increased patrolling and stricter enforcement near roadwork sites are the measures we need to see across Long Island. Thankfully, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Labor Day that permits speed violation monitoring in work zones, an act that may further assists the County’s commitment to highway safety.”
NCPD Stepping Up Patrols & Enforcement Near Work Zones
The crackdown on reckless driving will include an increase in police patrols and enforcement near roadwork sites throughout the County. The County Executive and Police Commissioner reminded motorists that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone and convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of a driver’s license.
The County helps ensure all contractors pursuing jobs that impact County roads follow the U.S. Department of Transportation & Federal Highway Administration’s safety requirements which include guidance on protective measures – signage, lane width, taper lengths - based on the roadway dimensions, volume of traffic, and other factors.
To enhance existing efforts, County DPW and County PD will be working to identify locations where more signage or digital speed indicators may be needed and help allocate resources.
Increasing Awareness of Roadwork
The County’s new text message service will be activated on Monday, September 13th. To sign up, residents can text “roadwork” to “888777.” The service will include a 6 a.m. recap via text message of daily road or lane closures due to County roadwork as well as real time updates on changes to traffic patterns throughout the day due to accidents or emergency roadwork. Residents can also sign up for daily email updates on www.nassaucountyny.gov/trafficmanagement.
“We want to take this opportunity to urge contractors and utility companies to renew their commitment to alerting the County of planned work impacting our roads so we can make sure these alerts are as up to date as possible,” said Curran.
Furthering her efforts to make residents aware of roadwork the County Executive also announced that the interactive map on www.nassaucountyny.gov/roadwork has been updated to show which County roads were resurfaced in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and what projects are next. The site, initially launched by Curran’s administration in 2019 is aimed at increasing transparency, allowing residents to see their tax dollars at work.
Increasing Awareness for Work Zone Safety
Following a well-deserved Labor Day, the County Executive used the opportunity to acknowledge all the dedicated County employees, contractors, state, and local workers improving County infrastructure. The County’s new work zone safety awareness campaign will honor their roles in our community and highlight importance of cautious driving near work sites. The County will utilize social media, email blasts, the text service, and other platforms to get the message out and feature members of our work force – putting a face to the crews working alongside the traffic whose lives depend on drivers being alert, patient and cautious.