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This Week is National Work Zone Safety Week – Operation Hardhat and Work Zone Speed Cameras to Begin

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This week marks National Work Zone Safety Week and New York is reminding motorists to slow down and use extra caution when traveling through a work zone. Governor Kathy Hochul said in a release the national theme for the week is “Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.”

The Governor says the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, aka speed cameras, which are operated by the Department of Transportation, will return again this construction season. Motorists will be warned prior to a work zone of the speed camera enforcement.

Additionally, Operation Hardhat, which is a work zone enforcement program carried out by the state and local law enforcement agencies, will also return. Operation Hardhat will begin this month to enforce vehicle and traffic laws on highway work zones. During the operation, State Troopers or local law enforcement are dressed as highway workers in an active NYSDOT or Thruway work zone. Driver’s will be identified and cited for a number of violations including: disobeying flagging personnel, speeding, cell phone and seat belt violations, and violating the Move Over law.

“Highways are one of the most dangerous work environments encountered by those who respond to emergencies and maintain our roadways. As the construction season begins, it is imperative for drivers to watch their speed, move over, and put down their electronic devices when they are traveling through work zones. The New York State Police remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to create safer work zones and protect those who work along our highways and interstates.”

New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James said

The Automated Work Zone Speed Monitoring program began back in 2021. The program will detect all vehicles who are violating posted speed limits within a work zone. The vehicle is identified and subsequently fined. The state says images of the driver or the contents of the vehicle are not documented.

Fines are as follows for speeding violations via speed cameras:

  • First violation: $50 fine
  • Second violation: $75 fine
  • Third and following violations within 18 months of first: $100 fine

The State says unpaid fines can result in a vehicle registration hold and drivers cannot renew their registrations without first paying all fines owed. Owners may contest a violation within 30 days of when they received notice.

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