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PRESS RELEASE - Aug. 19, 2016Town of Southampton – Office of Supervisor Jay Schneiderman Contact: Connie Conway (631) 283-6055
Drivers are being reminded to take caution as schools open soon. The Town of Southampton has joined forces with the Hampton Bays School District to drive home that point. The school district introduced two new speed zone display units at a news conference August 19th in front of the Hampton Bays Elementary School on Ponquogue Avenue. The units will alert drivers as they are entering in a school zone and display their speed. The Town partnered with the Elementary School PTA on this project as part of the overall “Schools Open” safety campaign. The total cost of the project was $7,028 and was split 50/50 between the Town and the PTA.
“We want to encourage drivers to reduce their speed when entering a school zone,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “If we can slow down traffic for public safety, these signs are well worth the investment.”
According to recent statistics, from PEDSAFE, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, a pedestrian hit by a moving vehicle at 40 mph has only a 15% chance of survival. Reducing speed to 20 mph gives a 95% chance of surviving the accident.
The school campus along Ponquogue Avenue includes the Elementary School and the Middle School and serves more than 1,300 children. Hampton Bays Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen said, “Student safety is our number one priority as a school district. Without it, the business of teaching and learning cannot happen, and so we are grateful to the Elementary PTA, Supervisor Schneiderman and the Town Board for identifying a problem and partnering to deliver a solution quickly and collaboratively.”
These are speed display units, only. They are not programmed to record license plate information or issue tickets.
Southampton Town Police Chief Robert Pearce said, “Keeping the safety of our children in the community is paramount to the Police Department. These electronic signs are an added tool to make drivers aware of their speed within the school zones.” The installation of the speed zone units are part of an overall safety program recently implemented in Hampton Bays that includes building sidewalks on Argonne Road, Wakeman Road, and Ponquogue Avenue to give students and their families safe passage to and from school.