State Police Disguised as Construction Workers for "Operation Hard Hat"
TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.(WENY)-- If you see orange and or yellow flashing lights and reflective vests, there is a good chance you're entering a work zone and need to slow down. Along with slowing down, drivers are asked to follow the move over law, which tells drivers that they need to give all work and or emergency vehicles on the road space for the workers safety. Unfortunately, these laws are not always followed, which has caused accidents resulting in serious injuries and even death. To reinforce the laws of the work zones and provide protection for the workers, State Police have created "Operation Hard Hat."
"Operation "Hard Hat" has definitely raised a lot of awareness. A lot of people are paying attention in the work zones, I think that it's at least, it's flagged some people to realize that there are people working on the road and don't be selfish and be on your cell phone," Trooper Agnieszka Dembinska tells WENY News.
Over the years, work zone accident numbers have increased, which has caused State Police to create this operation to help the public understand the importance of slowing down and following the law.
"These workers for the DOT, they're out on the road, they're working on the road and sometimes their not able to consistently look up at traffic and see who's coming at them," says Dembinska.
A work zone speeding ticket can range anywhere from $90 to $600 depending on the speed the driver is traveling. Troopers tell WENY News that the going isn't to just hand out expensive tickets, but to protect the workers doing work on the roads.
"These workers put their lives out on the line, they want to go back home to a family and we don't want somebody doing something reckless that could potentially get these workers hurt," says Dembinska.
No matter if you are in a work zone, or just traveling your everyday commute, troopers are asking for the public to be aware and follow the laws.
"Anytime you see any kind of lights, rather they be red, blue, yellow, flashing lights we want people to move over. If you cannot move over, slow down. Just give who ever is working on the side of the road enough room so that they can work and they stay safe," Dembinska tells WENY News.
For more information regarding today's "Operation Hard Hat" you can click here.