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Long story short, I have received six citations for speeding in a school zone posted 15 MPH. I received my first citation in the mail two weeks after the event occurred, thus, I racked up six tickets before realizing I was doing so.

The school zone speeding sign looks like the attached image. I apologize for it being blurry, but the sign reads: "School Speed Limit 15: 7AM - 4PM School Days" It is also attached with lights that flash.School Speed Limit Sign

New York State Vehicle Traffic Law (NY Veh & Traf L § 1180 (2014)) states:

...no person shall drive in excess of such maximum school speed limits during:

1.) school days at times indicated on the school zone speed limit sign, provided, however, that such times shall be between the hours of seven o'clock A.M. and six o'clock P.M. or alternative times within such hours; or

2.) a period when the beacons attached to the school zone speed limit sign are flashing and such sign is equipped with a notice that indicates that the school zone speed limit is in effect when such beacons are flashing, provided, however, that such beacons shall only flash during student activities at the school and up to thirty minutes immediately before and up to thirty minutes immediately after such student activities.

It seems to me that this sign doesn't fit either criteria. The flashing beacons do not have the attached sign, but the flashing beacons are still there and operating.

I am trying to question whether or not the lights were flashing when I was flashed by the ticketing camera, and I'm wondering if this is a reasonable thing to question based on the law I attached and the image.

Various links to the NYS Laws are here and here.

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  • I must be missing something obvious- the first criteria mentions nothing about flashing beacons. – Studoku Nov 30 '20 at 15:27
  • I question then why have flashing beacons at all? Perhaps to create confusion? – geoscience123 Nov 30 '20 at 15:32
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    They make the sign more noticeable. – Studoku Nov 30 '20 at 15:32
  • Understood thank you. – geoscience123 Nov 30 '20 at 15:37
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    That point - about the 6 tickets- is a good one (good in my opinion, I do not know if it has any legal merit). I have heard it before but do not know if it was ever tested. – Damila Nov 30 '20 at 15:48
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This clearly meets the first criteria:

1.) school days at times indicated on the school zone speed limit sign, provided, however, that such times shall be between the hours of seven o'clock A.M. and six o'clock P.M...

The times are clearly listed on the sign and are within the allowed times (assuming the sign isn't blurry in real-lfe of course). Whether the lights were blinking or not is moot.

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The lights do not need to be flashing from 7 am - 4 pm

Part 2 says beacons are for "student activities at the school" and implies outside the regular hours, because if it is within the regular hours then part 1 covers it. Say there is a dance or game at 6:30 pm, they can have the public safety authorities activate the lights. You are correct that if you got the ticket outside the posted hours (7a-4p), but when the lights were flashing that you would have a beef- because this particular sign does not have a notice that says speed limit is in effect when the lights are flashing. If it had such notice and the lights were flashing, then you would be out of luck based on part 2.

It is always in effect 7-4 on school days, lights or no lights, based on part 1 and the sign that states the hours (which are within the hours listed in the law). You don't need to memorize the school calendar, just assume it is Monday-Friday but not obvious days like Dec. 25.

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