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NY Governor Announces Statewide Crackdown on Work Zone Infractions

August 30, 2020
construction worker

Road construction disrupts the flow of traffic and increases the risk associated with driving. Road construction, however, is critical to our ability to help keep our roads safe for all. While work zone accidents endanger everyone, no one is more vulnerable than the construction workers themselves.

Operation Hard Hat

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the safety initiative known as Operation Hard Hat is back up and running. All of the following apply:

  • Operation Hard Hat is a statewide initiative that targets negligent motorists in work zones.
  • Operation Hard Hat is a joint enforcement detail that’s run by the New York State Police, the Department of Transportation, and the Thruway Authority.
  • The objective is to come down harder on negligent motorists who fail to drive safely through work zones and to highlight exactly how important it is to make safety one’s primary concern when road construction, road maintenance, or emergency operations are encountered on our state highways.

Governor Cuomo reminds New Yorkers that construction workers and first responders alike jeopardize their own physical safety every day on the job and that we have a responsibility to help protect them. This includes – as appropriate – slowing down to protect people on the road, moving over when possible, and using common sense at all times. Cuomo relays that we have zero tolerance for those who drive recklessly and endanger the lives of others.

How It Works

State troopers will be actively patrolling highway work zones in operations along the Adirondack Northway, the Thruway, and other active construction locations throughout the summer months. Unannounced enforcement efforts are also planned. The way it works is that troopers dress as highway maintenance workers and disperse themselves within active work zones. This puts them in a perfect position to identify motorists who engage in any of the following:

  • Drivers who disobey and/or ignore flagging personnel
  • Drivers who speed through work zones
  • Drivers who ignore New York’s Move Over Law (which requires them to safely move over for both maintenance and emergency vehicles)

The Results Are In

In 2019’s Operation Hard Hat, 1,048 tickets were issued throughout New York, including:

  • Nearly 500 speed violations
  • Almost 100 cell phone violations and another 100 seatbelt violations
  • 72 move-over violations

All motorists are responsible for slowing down and driving safely in relation to the work zone they find themselves in. It’s worth noting that fines for speeding double in work zones and that two or more such violations can lead to license suspension. 

Don’t Put Off Consulting with an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Lawyer

Road construction and situations involving emergency workers require increased safety precautions, and motorists who fail to adjust their driving accordingly endanger not only those workers but also other motorists on the road. If you’ve been injured by a motorist’s negligence in road construction, the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman in New York City can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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