The New York State Police issued 1,779 tickets between July and November during Operation Hardhat– a joint initiative between state police, the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority to crack down on work zone violations and highlight the importance of safe driving when encountering construction, maintenance and emergency operations along state highways.
[Above photo by the NYSDOT.]
The state police added that the number of violations issued during its five-month long work zone enforcement effort was 69.8 percent higher compared to the 1,048 tickets issued during the 2019 Operation Hardhat campaign.
“Building and maintaining a 21st Century transportation system cannot be done without the work performed by highway construction workers and it’s imperative we do all we can to make their jobs as safe as possible,” noted Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) in a statement.
“Preventing tragedies takes everyone working together,” he said. “So while the state will continue to crack down on those who endanger those working on our roadways, I am urging all New Yorkers to not only obey the speed limit and other traffic laws, but to do the right thing and use care while traveling through work zones.”
During Operation Hardhat, New York state troopers dress as highway maintenance workers to identify motorists who disobey flagging personnel, speed through the work zone, or violate the state’s “Move Over” law, which applies to both emergency and maintenance vehicles.
The New York State Police reported that out of the 1,779 tickets issued during its five-month work zone enforcement campaign, the bulk of them – 618 – were for speeding, with 187 for seat belt violations.
Additionally, the NYSDOT partnered with other local law enforcement agencies on separate “Operation Hardhat” initiatives in 2020, which resulted in a further 215 tickets issued to motorists, including tickets for speeding, seatbelt violations, cell phone/electronic device use, expired inspections, among other violations.
“Safety is always our top priority and I can’t thank our partners in law enforcement enough for the work they are doing to help protect our team members,” noted Marie Therese Dominguez, NYSDOT commissioner.
“Our highway crews and contractors work in dangerous conditions to keep our roads and bridges safe, so that we can all get where we need to go safely and efficiently,” she said. “It’s imperative that motorists pay attention, obey posted speed limits and be aware of workers and equipment in highway work zones.”