With road construction going on throughout New York City, you should be extra careful the next time you pass a construction zone. New York State government has announced “Operation Hardhat” to try to catch drivers committing tickable offenses, using undercover sheriff’s deputies disguised as part of the crew.
It is not unusual to see uniformed police officers at highway work sites monitoring passing vehicles and pulling people over for alleged infractions like speeding or failing to move over a lane. The difference with Operation Hardhat is that the police will be dressed as one of the construction workers.
Public safety vs. tickets
Interestingly, Operation Hardhat is about a less visible police presence in construction zones, not more. Most people are likely to follow the law if they see a squad car parked in the zone or a uniformed officer standing there. It could be that this operation’s goal is less about preventing accidents in construction zones, and more about issuing tickets.
Driving in construction zones
In New York, the law requires motorists to reduce speed in construction zones. If there is a construction vehicle, police car, tow truck or similar vehicle at the site with red, white, blue, amber or green lights, you are also obligated to move over a lane if it is safe to do so.
A ticket issued in a construction zone includes a fine and double the number of points on your driver’s license as usual. And if you accumulate 11 points on your license within 18 months, your license may be suspended. It could only take a few tickets from construction zones to cost you your driving privileges.
For that reason, you should take these traffic tickets seriously. That includes retaining legal counsel from an attorney who regularly handles tickets for clients.