Pictured at the award ceremony in Washington, D.C.:
L to R - Diane Steed, RSF Executive Director, Lt. Bill Leeper,
Lt. Tim Spaulding, Mary Peters, FHWA Director.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in conjunction with the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF), gave special recognition to the Florida Highway Patrol when it was chosen as one of the 2003 National Roadway Safety Award winners for its work in reducing crashes in roadway construction work zones through the development of its Operation Hardhat enforcement initiative. In a ceremony and luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., RSF Executive Director, Diane Steed, stated that, "This year's award winners demonstrated a commitment to saving lives and making a difference." The award honors initiatives that save lives by improving roadway design, operations and overall planning. Award winners included six state transportation departments, a regional transportation consortium, two counties, two cities, and the Florida Highway Patrol. These thirteen winners were selected from 138 entries nationwide.
The Florida Highway Patrol's Operation Hardhat was originally developed in Nassau County in the Jacksonville area, and has since spread statewide. The foundation of this innovative enforcement effort puts troopers in work zones dressed as construction workers wearing hardhats and equipped with laser speed measuring devices--a strategy designed to protect both construction workers and motorists. The troopers use lasers to clock speeders, while watching for vehicles following too closely, and other aggressive drivers traveling in construction zones. When motorists are observed breaking traffic laws, troopers call out to back up units standing by who take the appropriate enforcement action. Many times, motorcycle officers are used because they have the ability to navigate through the construction equipment and apprehend the violators.
Operation Hardhat in action across the state.
Operation Hardhat has proved a successful enforcement initiative that is effective in reducing traffic crash fatalities in Florida's construction zones. This important traffic initiative continues to heighten public awareness of highway safety and helps save the lives of motorists and construction workers on Florida's roadways. This award belongs to all the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol who participated in Operation Hardhatall across the state!