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April 10, 2017, (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Joins Partners to Renew Call for Safe Driving Near Work Zones

New York City kicked off National Work Zone Awareness week on April 3, which is observed each spring to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones. Nearly 700 work zone fatalities and more than 35,000 injuries occur nationally each year as a result of motor vehicle crashes in work zones. Through Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan, New York City aims to end traffic deaths and injuries on our streets and, in honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the City is providing safe driving tips to motorists on the NYC Department of Transportation’s webpage.

“The men and women of DEP who build and maintain the City’s critical water and wastewater infrastructure, including the nearly 15,000 miles of water mains and sewers, deserve a safe working environment,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We look forward to building on this important partnership with DOT, DDC, our private utility partners and the public to keep the streets and highways safe for all New Yorkers.”

“As we stand today with a DOT crew keeping one of our 780 bridges in good repair, we are announcing our Work Zone Awareness week to protect all our crews around New York City,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “As with our successful Vision Zero efforts to bring serious crashes on our streets to historic lows, we are proud to again partner with local stakeholders to make sure that our crews – be they fixing bridges, repairing sidewalks or repaving streets—are able to work safely. As pedestrians and motorists get to where they need to go, they should all remember that these public servants also need to get home to their families at the end of a long work shift.”

“DDC requires all contractors to submit and abide by a safety plan that accounts for its workers, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicular traffic,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “And we inspect sites regularly to be sure those safety plans are being followed. This ensures a safe distance between the various groups of people using the street, and also between them and the work zone itself. With over 600 ongoing infrastructure projects, many of them toward the Mayor’s ‘Vision Zero’ plan, work zone safety is a top priority for DDC.”

Work Zone Facts at a Glance:

  • On average, nearly 700 work zone fatalities occur nationwide every year.
  • Nearly four in five victims in work zone crashes are drivers and passengers.
  • More than 35,000 people are injured each year as a result of motor vehicle crashes in work zones.
  • One work zone fatality occurs approximately every 12 hours (1.9 a day)
  • One work zone injury occurs approximately every 14 minutes (97 a day)
  • 4 NYC DOT workers have died in work zone incidents in the last two decades.
  • 25 NYC DOT workers have been injured in work zone incidents since 2009
  • In New York State, there were 723 crashes, resulting in six fatalities in work zones on state roads and bridges.
    (Source: 2010 FHWA facts & statistics, NYC DOT and NYS DOT.)

Tips on Driving Safely in Work Zones

  • Drive within the posted speed limits.
  • Dedicate full attention to the roadway.
  • Refrain from distracting activities, such as changing radio stations and especially using mobile phones.
  • Pay close attention to merge signs, and do not change lanes within the work zone.
  • Merge into the proper lane well before you reach the lane closure.
  • Watch out not only for workers in the zone, but also for their equipment.
  • Be patient and remember that the work zone crew members are working to improve our roads for our safety and convenience.

For information about work zone safety, Vision Zero and other efforts, visit or

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600