Caught on Camera: DOT says drivers put workers' lives at risk

By Perry Russom

August 26, 2014 Updated Aug 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM EST

Town of Fenton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In an Action News exclusive, the New York State Department of Transportation took our camera crews on the road to show how drivers are breaking the rules and putting their workers' lives at risk.

Our cameras found plenty of drivers dangerously passing workers while they're on the roads.

"We've had some close calls," said Jimmy Medovich, a highway maintenance worker. "Thank God we go home every night."

On Tuesday, DOT workers painted the roads on Route 7B.

Crews work in sets of three. Two trucks drive in front and in back of a paint truck to control traffic and work as spotters.

Signs on the trucks read "Do Not Pass," "Paint Crew" and "Stay in Your Lane," but not all drivers follow the rules.

"We have signs out there for a reason," said Medovich.

Despite the signs, Action News watched five cars in minutes pass the spotter trucks. One car drove onto the right shoulder of the highway before passing on the left.

"They're passing us on a double yellow," said Dean Bronson, pavement marking supervisor. "They're not waiting for us to stop the train at single dashes, so they can pass us safely."

On Route 7B, the speed limit is 55 mph, but the DOT trucks were going just under 10 mph.

Every few minutes, the caravan of three trucks stops and allows the clogged traffic to pass.

"By virtue of the story you're going to be doing here on the news, people are going to see it and they're going to understand it and we just hope they get the message across," said Dave Hamburg, public information officer for NYSDOT Region 9.

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