Denlea & Carton


September 04, 2020

New York State Troopers Undercover

“Operation Hardhat” Embeds Troopers At Construction Sites Across the State

Every day drivers casually observe construction crews working on the highways. Next time, take a better look; one of them could be an undercover New York State Police Trooper.

Also referred to as “Operation Hardhat,” troopers posing as construction workers and working with the New York State Department of Transportation have issued more than 50 tickets in Westchester and Putnam Counties on I-684, the Taconic, and Sprain Brook Parkways. These tickets have included infractions for speeding, distracted driving, work zone intrusion, and cell phone use.

A similar program was instituted in Rochester and Albany resulting in nearly 250 tickets being issued. In Albany alone, 136 violations were observed in a 6 hour period, including over 82 tickets issued for speeding, as reported by WNYT.

History of “Operation Hardhat”

“Operation Hardhat” began last year, with 1,048 tickets issued across New York State. Based on its success, there are plans to continue to monitor high volume roadways using undercover officers dressed as highway maintenance workers.

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the number of tickets issued this year has already exceeded last year’s total. As of August 27, the state had issued 1,222 tickets. The vast majority of people were cited for speeding and other general violations, followed by illegal cell phone use, and failure to wear a seatbelt. The program was instituted after 2018 saw over 700 crashes resulting in 13 traffic-related fatalities and over 300 injuries in work zones across the state.

Cracking Down on All Types of Traffic Violations

“Operation Hardhat” aims to catch people that not only fail to obey normal traffic laws, but also those that apply specifically to work sites and construction zones. Drivers are reminded to use caution when in work zones, observe modified speed limits, and move over when possible.

New York’s Move Over Law requires that motorists slow down and move over for “emergency vehicles or hazard vehicles including police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, construction and maintenance vehicles, and tow trucks.”

Both the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation plan to continue the collaborative effort. The undercover crackdown travels to construction work zones across the state and can last for several hours.

Stay alert: the worker on the side of the highway just might be a state trooper.

Contact Denlea & Carton to Learn More

“Operation Hardhat” and other crackdowns such as “Operation Work Brake,” which resulted in more than 14,000 tickets being issued during a weeklong campaign in 2019, aim to reduce the number of people injured or killed in work zones and construction sites throughout New York.

At Denlea & Carton, we know the devastating toll a traffic accident can have on a family. We have been fighting to maximize compensation for injury victims for over 35 years. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact our office at (914) 368-7168 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.


James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

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