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Judges remind drivers of school zone laws

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After the three-month summer break for students and the motoring public, Pickaway County Juvenile Court Judge Jan Michael Long and Circleville Municipal Court Judge Gary Dumm are alerting motorists that students are returning to our local schools and school zone speed restrictions will once again become effective.

Juvenile drivers who are issued such speeding tickets appear before Judge Long of the Pickaway County Juvenile Court, and adult motorists issued speeding tickets for school zone violations appear before Judge Dumm of the Circleville Municipal Court.

“With the commencement of schools over the next few days, we felt that it is important for the safety of children to remind motorists to pay attention to school zones,” Judge Dumm said.

“It’s a good time to remind student drivers to pay attention also, because many times, they are in a hurry and feel that they are late for school or otherwise are not paying attention to the school zones,” Judge Long said.

Both judges point out the lower 20 mile per hour school zone speed limit applies whenever children might be entering or leaving the school, and it is always a safe bet to assume that between mid-August to mid-June, Monday through Friday from dusk to dawn, that the 20 mph limit should be observed.

According to the judges, Ohio law states that the 20 mile per hour restriction is effective and enforceable in school zones during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during the opening or closing hours.

“We know that some school zones have signs posted that indicate the hours of apparent enforcement,” the judges said. “However, that is not necessarily the controlling factor for enforcement, as the law clearly indicates the speed limit applies during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during the opening or closing hours.”

“This is very important to remember, particularly if there might be delays in the opening of the school day and also, particularly when it comes to recess hours,” Judge Dumm said.

“When in doubt, the safest approach is just slow down to the 20 mile per hour speed and watch out for the children,” Judge Long said.

All local schools are either now in session or will be in the next few days.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal