March 9, 2020
ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo is working to pass a law, as part of the state budget, known as the Slow Act, which, summed up, will be stricter rules about driver safety around highway workers. If passed, the law would take away driver’s licences, for 6 months, if convicted of assaulting or menacing a highway worker at a worker sites. The new law would also make it a class b misdemeanor to drive into an active work zone unless directed to by the traffic control worker or a traffic control device.
“Under the SLOW Act, a violent action against highway workers, motor vehicle inspectors and motor carrier investigators would be an assault in the 2nd degree, which is a Class D felony. Currently it is assault in the 3rd degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor. The Act also creates the new crime of “menacing a highway worker” when a person intentionally places or attempts to place a highway worker in fear of death or physical injury. It would be a Class E felony.
Perpetrators convicted of assault in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree against a highway worker, or menacing in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree against a highway worker, will face immediate suspension of their driver’s license for a period of six months – all new penalties under this proposal. In addition, the Act creates the new crime of “intrusion into an active work zone,” whereby no driver shall enter an active work zone unless directed to by a person in charge of traffic control or a traffic control device. Violation would constitute a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250-$500 and/or up to 3 months in jail.”