Trooper Martin Sigala (standing) and Auxiliary Lt.
Jim Porter (sitting) clock and log speeders on I-95
At the direction of Major Miguel Guzman, Commander of Troop L, Operation Hardhat began in South Florida on Monday, September 9, 2002, on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County. Troopers were dressed as construction workers and used a laser speed-measuring device to clock speeders, and then called them out to waiting troopers. Due to limited space in the construction work zone, troopers used construction equipment that gave them a height advantage, allowing the laser operator to clearly observe approaching speeders as well as the chase cars at a greater distance.
Operation Hardhat started in Troop G, Jacksonville, on July 26, 2002, and at the direction of Colonel Chris Knight, was expanded to Central Florida on August 23, 2002, and South Florida on September 9, 2002. It is anticipated that construction will continue in Palm Beach County for the next ten years.....and so will Operation Hardhat!
Motorists who enter work zone areas in Palm Beach County are reminded daily, by variable message signs, that Operation Hardhat is ongoing and to obey the posted speed limit.
During the first week of "Operation Hardhat" in Palm Beach County, troopers issued 204 traffic citations to motorists for unlawful speed and 30 citations for other violations in the construction work zones.
During the last five years in Florida, 134 people have been killed and 12,376 injured in traffic crashes that occurred in highway construction work zones.