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School Zones Get Speed Cameras

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation authorizing the addition of speed cameras in school speed zones in Nassau and Suffolk counties on June 25. The law allows one speed camera per district to record speeding violations as they occur, without requiring a police officer to be present at the scene. The law enables speed cameras to be placed in up to 56 school speed zones in Nassau County.

A camera has already been installed at Hicksville High School and will begin operation in September. The traffic safety department had experimented with placing a unit at Dutch Lane for one day, but found there was nowhere to safely put it without it interfering with traffic.

Chris Mistron, Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety, says that the high school was chosen because it had quite a few violations, with a majority of drivers going 25 miles per hour over the posted limit, not just the school zone limit.

Francine DeAgresta is PTA president of Hicksville High School and says that she thinks the speed camera in front of the school on Jerusalem Avenue is a great idea.

“People speed down that street so I’m hoping this will make people think twice. Now people have to be on guard and make sure they’re not speeding,” says DeAgresta. “People should be more cautious around a school zone, but they just don’t care. I’ve seen it firsthand. There’s a stop sign there and if the crossing guards aren’t there, people won’t even stop. It’s scary.”

The county is installing cameras and a radar, but the device will not show drivers how fast they are going.

The camera will operate Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets will be $80, similar to red light cameras, and violators will not receive points on their licenses.

Mistron says there is no estimate as to what revenue will be generated by the cameras.

“What we’re trying to do is improve the safety around the school on a school day. We’re not trying to catch people on off hours,” Mistron said. “We just want to try and slow down the traffic.”

According to data released by the governor’s office, there is a 70 percent chance that a child hit by a vehicle going 40 mph will be killed, but a child hit by a vehicle traveling at 30 mph has an 80 percent chance of surviving. Officials said implementing speed cameras in school speed zones will supplement police presence on the streets in catching speeding violations and preventing the accidents that arise from speeding.

Aside from catching drivers in the act, state officials said the presence of speed enforcement cameras will also encourage drivers to proceed with caution through school speed zones, thus enhancing the safety of children, pedestrians and drivers alike.

News

Bullying is a serious problem in today’s society and the controversial topic was the focus at last Saturday’s  'Bully-Proof Your Child Seminar’ at East Coast MMA & Fitness Center in Hicksville. State Senator Jack Martins and Legislator Rose Marie Walker attended the program which ran in the newly renovated center on Woodbury Road.

“Bullying is a real issue in our communities and I want to thank East Coast Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness for agreeing to host this forum,” said Martins. “Teaching our kids self defense to protect themselves or to protect those around them is a great thing. We need to take every opportunity to teach our kids important life lessons.”

Old classmates reignited friendships and shared memories of their teenage years as the Hicksville High School Class of 1964 came together recently to celebrate their 50th reunion at the Holiday Inn in Plainview.

Among the attendees was Bob Cheeseman who met his wife, Lorraine (Kirwan) in middle school. They were serious throughout high school and married soon after. Bob said, “I enlisted in high school and went into the Air Force. I did 30 years active Air Force and another 15 after that. I retired in 2010 as a Brigadier General. After I retired, my wife received a certificate from the Governor of Texas and was designated a Yellow Rose of Texas.”


Sports

The Hicksville boys volleyball team improved to 3-3 on the season by topping Sewanhaka in three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-13.

“We lost the first few matches this year but bounced back to win the last three,” said Hicksville’s second year Head Coach Kevin Bunting. “We have a young team — we lost three starters last year. We have no seniors on this team, but we have three juniors,” he added. Bunting noted that it will bode well for next year’s team when they have even more experience to build on.

It seemed to happen in an instant.

Hicksville forward Michael Osmundsen was touching the ball past Kellenburg goalkeeper Jack Abuin to slot the ball into an empty net to score the lone goal in the non-league 1-0 victory over the Firebirds.

It’s nothing short of what Comets boys soccer head coach Scott Starkey would expect. He described his forward as “very explosive, fast and he’s not just fast — he’s tenacious.”


Calendar

Community Council Meeting

October 2

Indoor Garage Sale

October 5

Movie: God’s Not Dead

October 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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