Distracted Driving Campaign Gets more fuel from CSEA President Danny Donohue

CSEA is ramping up its “Don’t Zone Out” distracted driving campaign this summer to increase public awareness about New York’s “move over law” and help save lives.

Interestingly, A January 2012 extension of the “move over law” now requires motorists to move over for amber lights on roadways as well as for red and blue police and fire vehicles. According to CSEA-represented highway work crews, people seem to have gotten the message to move over for police and fire but not yet for road crews; mowers; help trucks; tow trucks and disabled vehicles.

CSEA President Danny Donohue says lives can change forever because of distracted driving and that’s just as true for the driver as it is for the workers and their families..  he says the “Move Over Law” greatly reduces risk and if obeyed, will save lives and anguish..

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Motorists must change lanes when possible, as they approach vehicles flashing red or blue or amber lights. When it is not possible to move over or there is only one lane, drivers must slow down. Penalties are steep: Violating this law is punishable as a moving violation with 3 points on your driving record and a fine of $275 plus court surcharges and a possible jail sentence of up to 15 days.

Since 1983, 45 CSEA members have lost their lives on the job while working in work zones and in the U.S, nearly 600 workers lost their lives while on the job in work zones in 2010 alone (Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2010 ARF, NHTSA.)

Summer is peak travel time for vacationers and also a time of busy roadwork.

Launched in 2010 CSEA’s “Don’t Zone Out” campaign promotes work zone safety with the goal of eliminating distracted driving and making the roads safer for everyone.

Here are some “Don’t Zone Out” guidelines drivers can follow while traveling:

• Move over and slow down for all vehicles on the side of the road; red, blue and amber flashing lights.

• Be especially alert while driving through work zones;

• Observe posted work zone speed limits;

• Focus on driving – not other activities that could distract you

• Put the phone down -Never send or read text messages while driving

• “Don’t Zone Out!” Help spread the word. Tell other drivers and your community about staying alert in work zones.

• Join the Don’t Zone Out Facebook community and help build awareness: www.facebook.com/DontZoneOut

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