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New York State Police write record number of tickets during 'Operation Hardhat'

During the initiative, officers are in work zones dressed as highway maintenance workers looking for traffic law violators.
Credit: State Police
New York State Police arrested Peterson on Sept. 26

State Police say 'Operation Hardhat 2021' has resulted in a record number of tickets written for traffic violations such as speeding and failure to move over.

The campaign is a joint initiative to crack down on violaters and highlight the importance of safe driving when traveling through construction and maintenance zones, as well as emergency operations. 

This year a total of 2,336 tickets were issued breaking the previous record of 2,018 tickets set in 2020. Just under 100 tickets, 99, were written in the WNY region. The majority of tickets, 855, were for speeding. 

"We are committed to making sure our roadways are safe, not only for those who travel them, but also for those who work on them," said NYS Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen. "Each day, law enforcement and other emergency responders, including highway workers, work in a dangerous environment and risk their lives to keep the traveling public safe. It is important that motorists are aware of their responsibility to follow the rules of the road and know that violations of the Move Over Law and work zone intrusions will not be tolerated."

During 'Operation Hardhat' officers are staged in work zones, dressed as highway maintenance workers, to identify drivers who are disobeying traffic rules. 

Here is the breakdown of tickets written during this latest campaign:

  • Speeding – 855
  • Cell Phone – 434
  • Seatbelts – 254
  • Failure to Move Over – 167
  • Failure to Obey Flagger – 1
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 4
  • Other Violations – 621

“It’s imperative that motorists obey posted speed limits and stay alert when driving through work zones,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “As these results from Operation Hard Hat indicate, too many motorists are speeding and driving distracted when traveling through work zones and putting lives at risk. We thank our partners at New York State Police Troop T for keeping the Thruway safe and protecting the lives of motorists and our workers."

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