Most drivers will yield and show caution when they see a law enforcement vehicle parked along the road looking for traffic violations. But, far fewer show that caution when traveling through a construction work zone.

In an effort to get motorists to slowdown and drive safely in those construction areas, members of the New York State Police had a bit of a costume party on Wednesday, dressing up to look like New York State Department of Transportation workers, specifically looking for dangerous, reckless and distracted driving. It's called 'Operation Hardhat.'

via NYSP
via NYSP
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The operation targeted what is called 'an active work zone' on State Route 12 in the City of Utica and issued 56 tickets in just one day.

Of those, 24 were for speeding, 14 were seat belt violations, three for cell phone distracted driving and there were 15 more tickets handed out for other infractions, state police officials said.

via NYSP
via NYSP
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In New York, fines for speeding in work zones are doubled.

Additionally, NYSP and DOT officials remind drivers about the state's Move Over law, in which drivers are required to move over a lane when it’s safe and/or slow down when encountering vehicles displaying red, white, blue, amber, or green lights.

via NYSP
via NYSP
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"Every single person working on the side of the road deserves to get back home to their loved ones!," a release from NYSP said.

Last year, the targeted 'Operation Hardhat' campaign resulted in the issuance of more than 2,300 traffic tickets statewide. State Police officials again remind drivers to read road signs and use caution in work zones.

Operation Hardhat, via NYS DOT
Operation Hardhat, via NYS DOT
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Operation Hardhat, via NYS DOT
Operation Hardhat, via NYS DOT
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While the driving and construction seasons are just getting underway, the “Operation Hardhat” initiative continues through the fall.

Utica, NY Police Department's Top Ten Most Wanted

The City of Utica Police Department in Utica, New York has released its Top Ten Most Wanted List for the month of February 2022.

Several of those listed have previously been featured in separate posts about individual crimes, on a previous wanted list, or as the Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers Wanted Person of the Week.

The reader is reminded that all persons, either suspected of or arrested in connection to, a crime, are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of the individuals listed is asked to call police or the local Crime Stoppers.

The Utica Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division can be reached at: (315) 223.3510.

Calls, e-mail, and messages may also be left anonymously with Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers by calling: 1-866-730-8477 (TIPS), by visiting www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com, or by using the P3 Tips mobile app. All information received by Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% confidential.

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