As part of Work Zone Safety Week, police in Illinois went undercover as construction workers. The goal was to increase awareness of the dangers that speeding and distracted driving can pose to people in work zones. They also cited drivers who were speeding or otherwise violating traffic laws. One officer who was monitoring traffic on Interstate 74 said that he cited nine drivers in a matter of minutes for speeding.

Typically, officers monitor construction and other work zones in their police vehicles, but that gives drivers time to change their behavior. When a driver isn’t aware that an officer is nearby, he or she may be more likely to slow down or focus on the road. Those who are caught speeding in a work zone could receive a fine of $375 for a first offense and a fine of up to $1,000 for a second offense. A second offense could also come with a drivers license suspension of 90 days.

Officers went undercover as part of Operation Hard Hat, an initiative that was first suggested by Walsh Construction. The undercover effort was a joint venture between Walsh Construction, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police. Authorities are not sure if they will undertake such an endeavor again in the future.

Individuals who violate traffic laws may receive warnings or citations from authorities. Those who receive traffic tickets may be able to challenge them in court. Unlike a criminal charge, an individual will not receive jail time if convicted of a traffic offense. However, a driver may still want to challenge the ticket as it could come with fines that approach $1,000. A conviction for a traffic offense could also result in increased auto insurance premiums as well as points on a driver’s license.