UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — It’s safe to say there’s a lot of construction going on across the City of Utica, but it’s not safe to say those construction workers out there are safe.
On Thursday, NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez was in Utica and announced a partnership between NYSDOT, City of Utica, and the Utica Police Department called ‘Operation Hard Hat’. This is a state initiative where police officers dress as construction works in construction sites to monitor traffic. The officers watch for speeding and drivers on their phones.
“Unfortunately, we have lost a number of D.O.T workers. These are folks that are out there doing public service and we want to make sure that they are able to go home to their loved ones every night and in order to do that, we need people to pay attention to what’s going on in the work zone. This level of partnership with the Utica and the Utica PD, so Operation Hard Hat, it is, it is a great way to bring awareness to all of this,” says Commissioner Dominguez.
“…just because you’re not speeding doesn’t mean that you’re not disobeying the laws at this point and you’re not distracted because as we indicated the cell phones has been one of biggest offenses that’s going on. If you’re on your cell phone, you’re really not paying attention to the road,” says Mayor Robert Palmieri.
16 tickets were issued in the city on Thursday, 11 of them were cell phone violations.