New measures in the 2020 New York State budget would include increased protections for highway, airport, and other transportation workers.
Under the new provisions, offenders charged with attacking transport workers would be subject to a Class D felony, punishable by a mandatory seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
The proposal would also make any motorists charged with intruding into active work zones subject to up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
According to a press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, in recent years, there has been an “alarming number” of reported highway worker assaults and motorist intrusions in work zones.
“From 2014 to 2017, the DOT reported 610 work zone intrusions, which have included speeding motorists passing flaggers and driving through work zones,” the press release states.
Under current NYS law, only certain employees with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are covered by the protections.
The new provisions expand the protections to highway workers and contractors with the State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority, municipal highway workers and contractors, and airport workers.