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Anyone who hails from a definitively snowy state is probably familiar with the old joke that there are essentially two seasons, winter and road construction. New York residents have made it through yet another winter filled with snowy, icy roads, and there is no doubt that those “construction zone” warning signs will soon start popping up across the state if they haven’t already.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald recently reminded state residents and visitors that they need to use caution when driving through these construction zones. The announcement came at the start of the National Work Zone Awareness Week that ran from April 7 through April 11.

This year’s theme was “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake.” Safety officials probably picked this theme to raise awareness for the highway workers that will repair the roads and bridges across the state and the nation. That is perfectly okay; we want to keep highway workers safe too.

The truth is that speeding in a construction zone can cost the driver too. Under the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, those that are caught speeding in a construction zone face double the fine that they would have at the same speed on the same road, only without the orange cones.

Fighting moving violations isn’t something that everyone takes seriously, but they should. Fines aren’t the only penalty that a driver caught speeding could face. Those that are cited two or three times for speeding in a construction zone could even have their driver’s license suspended for a period of time.

Before signing the citation and paying the fine, drivers in New York should at the least consult with a traffic violation attorney about their options.

Source: The Lansing Star, “DOT Highlights Safe Driving In Highway Construction Work Zones,” April 11, 2014

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