Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police issued 1,779 tickets during this year’s Operation Hardhat, an 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. With dozens of details held in almost every region of New York State, the number of violations issued was 69.8 percent higher than the 1,048 tickets issued by State Troopers during all of 2019’s Operation Hard Hat.
“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,” Governor Cuomo said. “Preventing tragedies takes everyone working together, 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.”
Beginning in July and stretching through November, New York State Police spent a total of 243 hours at DOT and Thruway-operated work zones in 2020. The 1,779 tickets included the following violations:
Speeding – 618
Seatbelts – 187
Cell Phone – 297
Failure to Move Over – 141
Failure to Obey Flagger – 2
Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 17
DWI – 1
Other violations – 516
Under “Operation Hardhat” State Troopers are present within the work zones, dressed 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.
Additionally, the State Department of Transportation partnered with local law enforcement agencies on separate “Operation Hardhat” initiatives in 2020, including the Utica Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Canisteo Police Department, Village of Mohawk Police Department and the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office. Separately, these operations have resulted in 215 tickets issued to motorists, including tickets for speeding, seatbelt violations, cell phone/electronic device use, expired inspections, among other violations.