MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – New York State law says drivers must slow down and move over for vehicles with flashing lights.

It applies to all vehicles with flashing lights, not just police cars or ambulances.  The Department of Transportation is trying to remind motorists the law applies to construction vehicles with amber lights as well, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

“Last year, there was 400 accidents in construction and maintenance work zones,” the state DOT’s Gary Barnable told Hall.

Barnable said there were five fatalities.

“One hundred of those accidents were on Long Island. So, [it’s] one of the leading areas where there’s work zone intrusions,” he said.

“If people could imagine their office in the middle of the Long Island Expressway, that’s what these people are doing. This is their office. This is where they work,” the state DOT’s Eileen Peters told Hall. “They want to go home safe, the same as each one of us want to go home safe every night. So, please pay attention. Slow down. Be alert.”

Hall visited a construction crew on the side of the Long Island Expressway and the workers told her it’s just plain scary when they see drivers speeding, talking on their cell phones, and not moving over.

Work Zone Along Long Island Expressway - Apr 25, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

Work Zone Along Long Island Expressway - Apr 25, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

“You’re out there and you’re sometimes 10, 15 feet from cars that are going by 70 miles per hour,” said Barnable.

Barnable had this message for drivers: “There’s all sorts of reasons, distractions. We ask people to get off their cell phones. Please slow down. Pay attention.”

Is enough done to protect workers on the roadside? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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