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Motorist complaints have local legislators questioning the school zone speed camera program that the state of New York authorized for Nassau County and New York City. Some Nassau County lawmakers are calling for suspension of the program following reports that signs warning motorists that they are entering a school zone are obscured, missing or inadequate.

Under the legislation, which authorized 200 speed zone cameras, drivers exceeding the posted speed limit in a designated school zone by more than 10 mph would be issued a ticket. The cameras operate one hour before and one hour after school activities on days that school is in session.

Traffic laws set rules for the operation of motor vehicles on public highways. A driver failing to follow the established rules risks being issued a traffic ticket that usually results in a fine and may add violation points on a driver’s license.

The controversy surrounding the school speed zone cameras is that drivers are not being given proper warning when entering a school zone.

Critics claim that school zone speeding tickets place an unfair burden on drivers to know that they are in a school zone and that school is in session. Drivers receiving a speeding ticket might claim lack of notice as a defense if signs did not warn of the presence of a school zone to allow for sufficient time to slow their vehicle to the posted speed. Another possible defense might be the absence of proper notice of school hours and school being in session.

While the politicians debate the future of school zone speed cameras, a driver receiving a speeding ticket in the mail might benefit from discussing the current state of the law with a traffic violations attorney.

Source: CBS New York, "Nassau County Lawmakers Demand Suspension of School Zone Speed Cameras," Nov. 3, 2014

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