Photo/Story Gallery 2006

Troopers Go Undercover with Another Operation Hard Hat

FHP Sergeant Tomlinson posing as a construction worker while operating laser radar to catch speeders in work zones.Captain Culhane, Lake City District Commander, issues a speeding citation to a violator during Operation Hard Hat.Recently, FHP’s Troop B and FDOT officers teamed together to conduct another Operation Hard Hat, an undercover enforcement operation designed to get motorists to slow down in work zones. Between 1998 and 2004, work zone crashes increased by 50% throughout the state.

Pictured left, FHP Sergeant Chet Tomlinson poses as a construction worker while operating laser radar to catch speeders in work zones. and right, Captain Tim Culhane, Lake City District Commander, issues a speeding citation to a violator during Operation Hard Hat.

“We have noticed that driver trends and behaviors have changed,” said FHP Captain Tim Culhane, Lake City District Commander for Troop B. “We have learned that we must use creative and innovative methods as well as technology to combat dangerous driver behavior such as speeding in construction zones.”

During the two-hour operation, Sergeant Chet Tomlinson was disguised in standard construction work clothing, including a hard hat, and equipped with a battery operated laser radar gun and a portable radio while standing on a piece of construction equipment. When he spotted speeders, Sergeant Tomlinson notified troopers set up in a covert location near him so they could step near the roadway and flag each violator over to a parking lot nearby for enforcement action. Sergeant Tomlinson kept eye contact with each violator and verified that each trooper stopped the violator that he had clocked for speeding violations.

Trooper Roux and K-9 Enzo conducting a Walk-Around during an Operation Hard Hat traffic stop.Pictured left, Trooper Roux and K-9 Enzo conduct a Walk-Around during an Operation Hard Hat traffic stop.

In all, troopers working the two-hour operation issued twelve citations with fines totaling $1,635. Citations for speed in a work zone are doubled in an effort to reduce speed violations to protect construction workers. Troopers worked hard during the operation to save lives by reducing the incidence of work zone crashes.