New York State Police troopers went deep undercover, posing as construction workers, handing out more than 100 tickets to motorists during “Operation Hardhat.”
Over the weekend, troopers teamed with the New York State Department of Transportation for the special detail, dishing out a total of 112 tickets to speedsters and distracted drivers on numerous highway work zones.
In total, 40 motorists were ticketed for speeding, while another 34 were cited for cell phone use while behind the wheel. Fourteen drivers received tickets for failing to wear seatbelts, two were issued summonses for improper child restraints, and 22 other tickets were doled out for failure to obey a flagger, an unlicensed driver and other violations.
Officials said that “based on the initial success of the initiative, plans are in place to roll out additional operations in the coming months.”
“The success of Operation Hard Hat is imperative - it protects our transportation workers and raises awareness to the serious issue of work zone safety,” NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the dedicated New York State Troopers who took the time last week to patrol our work zones across the Rochester and Hornell regions. This is an important partnership that we need to continue to further promote our shared mission of highway safety.”
In 2018, there were 701 crashes in work zones on state roads and bridges, resulting in 13 motorist fatalities and 329 injuries to motorists, contractor employees and NYSDOT staff.
The NYSDOT noted that “motorists are required to move over a lane if safely possible for vehicles along the road displaying red, white, blue, amber or green lights. This includes emergency response vehicles, tow trucks, and highway construction and maintenance vehicles. Failure to comply will result in significant civil and possible criminal penalties.
New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett said, “distracted driving and excessive speeds are unnecessary dangers that both law enforcement officers and highway workers now face while working to keep the traveling public safe. Motorists must understand their responsibility to follow the rules of the road and be aware of their surroundings by eliminating distractions while behind the wheel.”
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