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Pennsylvania troopers to disguise themselves as road workers for traffic blitz

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This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced a sneaky traffic enforcement detail to take place in work zones.

On May 20, PennDOT announced “Operation Yellow Jacket” will be taking place in highway work zones in several counties, including Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter.

The purpose of Operation Yellow Jacket is to curb work zone fatalities.

According to PennDOT, in 2023, there were 1,216 work zone crashes, resulting in 22 fatalities.

As part of the operation, PSP troopers will sit in DOT vehicles dressed in PennDOT-issued hardhats and vests. If the trooper spots a violation like speeding, tailgating, or driving distracted, they can communicate to another troopers in a marked police cruiser to perform a traffic stop.

“Our goal is not to write tickets. Our goal is to prevent the violations that would warrant a ticket from happening in the first place,” Trooper Jake Rhymestine from PSP Troop G said. “Those violations are what can cost people their lives. That is why we want the public to know that the State Police have a presence in work zones; to give them an extra incentive to slow down and use caution. It could save a life.” 

During a similar Operation Yellow Jacket campaign conducted in the spring of 2023, 136 traffic stops were conducted, resulting in 133 citations and 46 warnings.

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