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“Unsuspecting Drivers” Caught Zooming Past Staten Island School

1:12 PM EDT on September 21, 2009

Here's something you'd like to see more of from the NYPD: Cops cracking down on speeders near a school zone. Reports the Staten Island Advance:

Staten Island's newest speed trap is snaring unsuspecting drivers whomust drop from a highway speed of 50 mph to 30 mph on the off-ramp, toa 20-mph crawl outside a school zone off the South Avenue exit of theStaten Island Expressway.

Police have been issuing summonses to lead-footed drivers who missedor ignored the new diamond-shaped yellow signs alongside Goethals RoadNorth in Graniteville, where the new Staten Island School of CivicLeadership for grades K-8 opened earlier this month.

The tickets were given out as part of a targeted enforcementinitiative, police said. While officers won't be outside the schoolevery day, it will be on their rotating list of "hot spots," because ofthe nature of the school zone, and because a pedestrian was hit on thestreet in the past.

So, enforcing the speed limit near an area swarming with kids -- everyone can get behind that, right? Not if you identify with those "unsuspecting drivers" more than the K-8 students who have to navigate the streets near their school. Proving that no form of traffic enforcement can avoid scorn from a certain subset of motorists, many Advance commenters take the speed trap as evidence of a city campaign to "milk the taxpayer."

As irresponsible as it may be to call speed enforcement a revenue-generating exercise, some of the complainers kind of have a point. This stretch of Goethals Road North is definitely sending some mixed signals. Those 20 mph school zone signs compete for drivers' attention with huge green highway signs on a street that looks designed for maximal vehicular flow. The stepped-up enforcement is great, and let's hope the cops keep it up, because the students at the School of Civic
Leadership need it. They also need a street designed to put drivers on notice that doing 40 is totally wrong and unacceptable.

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