ITHACA, N.Y. — New York State Police and the Department of Transportation teamed up Tuesday for “Operation Hard Hat” to enforce work zone violations.

During the operation that took place on Route 13 between North Triphammer Road in Lansing and Stewart Park in Ithaca, troopers dressed as DOT workers, hard hats and all, to observe motorists traveling through the work zone. They issued 28 traffic tickets. Most tickets went to drivers who were not wearing seatbelts. Drivers were also ticketed for cellphone use, unregistered vehicles, and violating the state’s Move Over Law.

According to state police, the violations included:

  • 12 No Seatbelt
  • 4 Cellphone
  • 2 Unregistered Motor Vehicle
  • 1 Inadequate Exhaust
  • 3 Unlicensed Operator
  • 2 Uninspected Motor Vehicle
  • 1 Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the third degree
  • 1 No Interlock Device
  • 1 Operating with More than 1 Earphone

The Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down and safely move over when nearing law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks and construction vehicles stopped along roads. Fines are doubled in construction zones and people convicted of two or more speeding violations in a work zone can have their licenses suspended.

“Establishing and maintaining a highway work zone helps keep both our workers and the traveling public safe. As our Department’s field staff and the State Police face increasing dangers from distracted drivers as they work on our state highways, this is an excellent opportunity to collaborate and raise awareness.  I thank the New York State Troopers who will be joining us this week and working towards our shared mission of highway safety,” DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in a statement.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.