FOR RELEASE: December 5, 2013
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Statewide Operation Big Orange Activity Focuses On Work Zone Safety by Reducing Moving Violations
The Connecticut Department of Transportation in partnership with the Connecticut State Police today announced that more than 2,000 traffic citations were issued during the “Operation Big Orange” enforcement effort across the state through October 2013.
Operation Big Orange is a highway enforcement program that primarily utilizes the Connecticut State Police to make traffic stops in and around active work zones to help protect roadway workers and to deter irresponsible motorist behavior. 
The program is funded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation on an annual basis and focuses enforcement efforts on the state’s limited access highways.  The enforcement activities occur throughout the year with maximum enforcement taking place during the peak of the construction season - April through November. 
This year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law, House Bill 5250 signed as Public Act 13-92, an Act Concerning the Safety of Workers in Roadway Work Zones, that includes new motor vehicle laws effective October 1, 2013, and creates a work zone safety account that will be used to support highway enforcement activities and training.

“The safety of our workers is of primary concern, especially when they are exposed to high speed traffic in our work zones.  There is little room between them and vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, traveling at speeds at or above the legal speed limit.  We continue in our efforts to engineer and use better traffic control devices to protect these workers and to provide guidance through these areas that is easily understood and reasonable for the traveling public.   We need to make sure people realize that we mean business when it comes to enforcing the work zone laws that are in place,” said DOT Commissioner James Redeker. 

Operation Big Orange results through mid-October have included 1,672 speeding violations, 36 unsafe lane changes, 15 violations for following too close, and 57 for failure to obey the "Move Over" law signed as Public Act 9-121.  There were also 924 other charges that included seatbelt violations, suspended licenses, unregistered motor vehicles, as well as cell phone and texting violations.  Some of the stops included arrests for narcotics and reckless driving.

“The intent of these enforcement activities is to raise awareness and that we will not tolerate motorists violating the laws especially when they are occurring on our highways in work zones. The State Police and the local enforcement community take the safety of the workers as well as the traveling public very seriously.  The more people obey the motor vehicle laws of this State the safer it will be for all,” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Reuben Bradford.