SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An accident happened the same day PennDOT and state police are speaking out about Operation Yellow Jacket. It’s a program to crack down on work zone crashes.

Despite Wednesday morning’s crash in Luzerne County, PennDOT has seen fewer work zone crashes with state police enforcement.

This is not about how many tickets they can give out, it’s about getting construction workers home safely.

There are always multiple vehicles as you drive through a work zone.

But inside a truck, it’s not a PennDOT worker but a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

“Anywhere you see construction crews or you see a construction project going on on a state highway, there’s a good chance that we will be there conducting Operation Yellow Jacket along with PennDOT,” said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Bob Urban.

During Operation Yellow Jacket, troopers sit in PennDOT vehicles and conduct traffic enforcement, for those caught speeding, tail-gaiting, or distracted driving.

State law requires drivers to slow down, and you have to have your headlights on when driving through work zones.

This operation got some quick results with a driver stopped within the first few minutes Eyewitness News was at the work site.

Over the last five weeks, state police say they issued 133 citations and 46 warnings.

“Distracted and aggressive driving are the leading causes of crashes in work zones,” said PennDOT District 4 Assistant District Executive of Maintenance Jonathan Eboli.

90 PennDOT personnel have died in the line of duty since 1970, 11 from PennDOT Engineering District 4.

In 2022, 1,293 crashes occurred in work zones in Pennsylvania, resulting in 14 fatalities and 51 serious injuries.

“In total, almost 9,800 work zone crashes have occurred between 2017 and 2022, that’s 9,800 chances for one of our workers to be hurt or killed,” Eboli explained.

A firm reminder to keep an eye out for those just trying to get home to their families.

Drivers violating the state’s “Move Over Law” face a $500 fine or more.

State police will be at work zones throughout District 4 all summer long, making sure construction workers get home to their families.