OWEGO, N.Y. (WETM) — It is now that time of the year for residents across the Twin Tiers to look out for “Operation Hardhat” details, including one which took place in Tioga County earlier Monday.

Immediately following the kickoff to National Work Zone Awareness Week, NYSP and NYSDOT are collaborating once again to help make New York’s roadways safer. “Operation Hardhat” embeds New York State Troopers into work zones, dressing as maintenance workers, to identify motorists who are breaking the law whether it be speeding, distracted driving, or violating the move over law. Last year alone saw 2,336 tickets issued during “Operation Hardhat” details, beating the 2020 record of 2018 tickets issued.

“When people drive carelessly and speed through work zones, they put the lives of workers at risk. We have seen far too many deaths and injuries of workers who are just doing their jobs making sure our roads and highways are safe for the traveling public. We all have the responsibility to ensure that the men and women who are maintain our roads and bridges go home uninjured at the end of the day.”

Mary E. Sullivan – President, Civil Service Employees Association

The biggest thing that drivers can do? Just slow down, and move over if it’s safe to do so.

It just happens too often that people are distracted, they’re driving too fast, and the next thing you know, there’s a tragedy… That’s a dangerous place for them to be. They’re doing it for your safety, so you need to help us out, slow down, move over, keep everybody safe… But if it’s not enough for you to keep us safe, keep yourself safe. Keep your money in your wallet, and just do the right thing. It’s not even going to cost you a minute from where you’re going.

Scott Cook – Public Information Officer for the Southern Tier – NYSDOT

Drive safe, Twin tiers.