New York State Police troopers went deep undercover, posing as construction workers, handing out nearly 50 tickets to motorists during “Operation Hardhat” in Westchester and Putnam counties.
This week, troopers teamed with the New York State Department of Transportation for the special detail, dishing out a total of 49 tickets to speedsters and distracted drivers on I-684, the Taconic and Sprain Brook Parkways.
During the two-day detail, troopers patrolled highway work zones for violations that include speeding, failing to adhere to the "Move Over" law use of a cell phone while driving, and work zone intrusion.
Officials said that “based on the initial success of the initiative, plans are in place to roll out additional operations throughout the summer.”
Similar details in Rochester and Albany led to the issuance of nearly 250 more tickets to motorists committing vehicle and traffic violations.
“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."
"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," officials said. "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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