ALBANY — The New York State Police cracked down on speeding, refusing to wear seatbelts and using cellphones behind the wheel while driving through highway construction zones.
Officers wrote 1,779 tickets between July and November under the state’s “Operation Hard Hat,” which stations state police officers along the Empire State’s highways dressed as construction workers to catch violating drivers in maintenance and emergency operation zones.
It’s nearly a 70-percent increase compared to 2019’s program, under which 1,048 total tickets were given out.
“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,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement Thursday.
“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.”
Speedsters clocked in as the highest offenders, with 618 tickets issued for driving above the speed limit.
Two hundred and ninety seven individuals were ticketed for being caught using their cellphones while driving, followed by 187 tickets written for seatbelt refusal to wear a seatbelt while driving in traffic zones.
Other tickets were handed out for failure to move over, failure to obey a flagger, one DWI as well as other violations in these areas.
Fines are doubled in these work zones, and drivers convicted of two or more speeding tickets could have their licenses suspended.
State police collaborated with the New York State Thruway Authority, the state Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles as well as several upstate county law enforcement offices.
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