By Frank Lewis
Time flies when you’re having fun. Don’t look now, but it’s time for school to start again and the Portsmouth Police Department is reminding everyone that next week is the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year. Tuesday August 19th is the scheduled start date for Portsmouth City Schools and Notre Dame Schools.
Portsmouth Police Department Operations Captain Lynn Brewer is reminding motorists that the posted speed limit in school zones is reduced to 20 miles per hour starting one hour before the start of school, during recesses and extending one hour after the end of the school day. While within the City of Portsmouth, most school zones are clearly marked and posted with signs. Brewer said motorists should be aware that a school zone extends 300 feet in all directions from a school building and is not required by law to be posted.
“The care exercised by motorist last year is to be commended,” Brewer said. “We made it through the 2013/2014 school year with no reported incidents of students or school employees being struck by a motorist.”
The Portsmouth Police Department, again this year will have officers actively monitoring traffic next week in an effort to ensure the school year starts off safely for students, teachers and other school support staff along with the safety of motorist.
The public is reminded that anyone receiving a moving violation in a school zone will have a mandatory appearance in court along with a mandatory fine if they are convicted of the offense. A violation of passing a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading students also carries up to a six month suspension of your driver’s license.
“We are encouraging everyone to act responsibly throughout the school year,” Brewer said. “And let’s have another safe year for everyone.”
Citizens are also encouraged to report careless or dangerous driving in the school zones to the Police 911 Dispatch Center at 740-353-4101.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt