School begins tomorrow for the Ithaca City School District, and the Ithaca Police Department says they're ready to step up patrols in school zones. Classes start a few days later than for most area districts, and students in grades K-6, 9th grade, and all new entrants, are in school on Monday, September 9th. Tuesday the 10th is a full day for all grades.
Ithaca police say they'll be "targeting speeding violations in posted school zones," where speed limits are reduced from 7am-6pm on school days. Within the City of Ithaca, school zones have posted speed limits of 15 miles per hour. Speeds vary in surrounding communities, but are generally 10-15 mph slower than the usual speed limit for the area.
"Officers will be using a zero-tolerance mentality," says IPD spokesman Officer Jamie Williamson. "Offenders should expect to be issued a ticket if they are caught speeding." Speeding in a school zone carries double fines and double points on the offender's license.
The extra patrols won't cost area taxpayers. Funding has come from the New York State Selective Traffic Enforcement Grant, which IPD was awarded earlier this year. Williamson says the school-zone patrols will be in effect through the month of September, and will consist of roving patrols and stationary checkpoints.