Page 3 - Work Force October 2021
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Gov. Kathy Hochul signs CSEA-backed work zone speed camera legislation
 BUFFALO — On Labor Day, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed one of CSEA’s highest legislative priorities into law, a bill creating a pilot program to place automated speed cameras in highway work zones, in an effort to force the motoring public to slow down and save lives.
CSEA members and staff were on hand to greet the governor during her visit to her hometown and witness her sign the work zone speed camera bill. Hochul also signed several other pieces of pro-worker legislation.
“On Labor Day every year, we’re reminded of the vital contributions of organized labor, and that’s why
[I signed] four pieces of legislation to help workers thrive across our great state,” Hochul said. “These bills will make sure workers are paid fair wages, receive good benefits and stay safe on their worksites. Our state is home
to a long and
proud legacy
of supporting
working New
Yorkers, and
we’re working to
bolster that for
the future.”
biggest legislative priorities this session, but our union has been lobbying lawmakers to pass a
speed camera bill for more than three years. This year, our union’s Legislative and Political Action Department worked with our Communications Department to boost efforts to target legislators, including virtual lobbying, postcards and digital advertising highlighting recent incidents where highway workers were injured by motorists.
“On behalf of all CSEA members who work on or near highways, we thank Governor Hochul for signing this legislation,” CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan said. “Our union members turned up the heat and demanded that our elected officials do something to improve work zone safety. This legislation will save lives.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul addresses CSEA and other labor union members and state lawmakers during a Labor Day event at which the governor signed the work zone speed camera bill and several other pieces of pro-worker legislation.
   Also on
hand for the
signing were
the chairs of
the state Senate
and Assembly’s
State Sen. Tim
Kennedy and Assemblymember William Magnarelli.
The speed camera law will place automated speed cameras in active highway work zones, which will go a long way toward keeping those who work on or near highways safer on the job.
The legislation was one of CSEA’s
Work Zone Memorial at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Photo by Josh Schick)
Memorial to the fallen
For the thousands of CSEA members who work on or near highways, this bill is long overdue. Our union lost 57 members due to work zone intrusions since 1983 and many more members have been injured. Other states that have work
zone speed cameras in place have reported significant reductions in traffic incidents, injuries and deaths.
Highway work remains one of
the most dangerous professions in the United States. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,844 workers were killed on the job at road construction sites between
2003 and 2017, averaging 123 per year.
Hochul also recently visited
the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse to unveil a new memorial honoring highway workers who have been killed on the job.
CSEA Central Region President Kenny Greenleaf and CSEA Legislative and Political Action Director Fran Turner represented our union at the unveiling, which was held during the New York State Fair.
“Not only is the memorial a much needed tribute to these fallen workers, it is also a poignant reminder to slow down and stay alert while traveling through work zones,” Sullivan said.
Workers support law
CSEA Department of Transportation Local presidents are relieved about the new law.
“I am very proud of the fact
our CSEA members never gave
up the fight to get this legislation passed,” said Erie County DOT Local President Mike Rizzi. “It was also very gratifying to be with Governor Hochul on Labor Day when she signed the bill into law. This bill, if properly executed, will give us one
more instrument
in our toolbox to
protect our highway
workers and hold
the traveling public
accountable when
they break the law.
I especially want to
thank our Buffalo
area New York State
Senator Tim Kennedy for sponsoring this legislation.”
“The passage
of this legislation
will help provide
a safer working
environment by
cutting down on
aggressive drivers
speeding through
zones,” said CSEA
Department of Transportation (Babylon) Local President Richard Allen. “I really appreciate CSEA for aggressively pushing to get this legislation passed. It shows that CSEA has a deep consideration for the Department of Transportation and we [DOT workers] appreciate that.”
— Ove Overmyer, Mark M. Kotzin and Wendi Bowie
 October 2021
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