What to Know
- Next time you pass construction on the highway, be sure you're obeying the law — because one of the people in a yellow vest may be a cop
- New York state troopers were on Long Island Thursday, covertly taking note of drivers not obeying the law and then issuing them tickets
- The DOT said that more than 100 tickets were handed out, each one costing a $250 fine and two points on a driver’s license
Next time you pass some construction on the highway, be sure you’re following all traffic laws — because one of the people in a yellow vest may secretly be a cop.
New York state troopers were on Long Island Thursday, covertly taking note of drivers not obeying the law and then issuing them tickets. It’s called Operation Hard Hat, done in an effort to snag drivers speeding through construction work zones.
The incognito cops would use a laser to target fast cars, then radio the information to marked patrol cars further down the highway. Tickets were also issued for failing to move over away from a work zone and slow down.
One of the undercover officers said it was “alarming” to see how many drivers did not obey the law, and to see others “on the cellphone, not paying attention. Doing their hair.”
Some of the drivers clocked on Thursday were caught doing upwards of 75 mph in a zone meant for 50 mph.
The police teamed up with the Department of Transportation to promote safe driving in these dangerous areas.
“Imagine a speeding car or truck going right through your office. That's what we face every single day,” said Joseph Brown of the DOT. This year alone, one highway worker has already been killed, and more than 60 others injured by careless, distracted or speeding drivers.
While the drivers ticketed were not happy, a woman who lost her father to a distracted driver as he worked for the DOT 13 years ago cheered the law enforcement effort.
“I was given an urn with ashes,” said Karen Torres. “[The driver] was given a 90-day license suspension.”
The DOT said that more than 100 tickets were handed out, each one costing a $250 fine and two points on a driver’s license. State police say they will continue the efforts until drivers get the message.