State police: Move over

By Perry Russom

June 27, 2013 Updated Jun 27, 2013 at 9:53 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Construction has been lining local highways and side streets for the past few months.

The New York Department of Transportation said that isn't going to change anytime soon. What they do want to change is how drivers are going through construction zones.

"We know the work zones are a hassle for everybody involved," said New York State police Lt. Robert Croswell. "We want to have safe roadways in good condition. It's very important for people to slow down coming through the work zone. Traffic can stop suddenly. You have to leave enough following distance."

Here's the law according to the state police's website:

- Drivers must use due care when approaching an emergency vehicle that displays red and/or white emergency lighting.

- On all roads and highways, drivers must reduce speed;

- On parkways and other controlled access highways with multiple lanes, when approaching an emergency vehicle that displays red and/or white emergency lighting or a hazard vehicle displaying flashing amber lighting, drivers must move from the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency or hazard vehicle, unless traffic or other hazards exist to prevent doing so safely.

So far this year, New York State Police in Kirkwood report 48 car accidents in construction zones.

There were 36 accidents in all of 2012.

"(Move Over) is kind of just a common courtesy type of deal," said Daniel Sabol, DOT highway maintenance supervisor. "You know, I kind of think we lost that as a society. It's more of a me-first type of attitude out there. So if we can kind of just get it back into the public eye."

State police credited the rise in construction for more accidents.

Police said the two main reasons for the accidents are driver inattention and unsafe speeds.

DOT Tips to Drive Safely:
- Leave four seconds between you and the driver in front you;

- Don't speed though zones, including during on off-shifts;

- Merge as soon as possible, which helps traffic run smoother.

DOT officials said they're worried about the overall safety of both their workers and drivers.