Police across New York State issued 70 percent more tickets during this year's Operation Hardhat.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 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, officials say.

"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," 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.

Motorists are reminded to Move Over a lane, if safely possible, or slow down significantly whenever encountering roadside vehicles displaying red, white, blue, amber or green lights, including maintenance and construction vehicles in work zones. Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's license.

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