Flashing lights, near a school, serve as a reminder to motorists to drop their speed to 20 miles per hour.
If you don't, you could get a ticket.
That is what happened to Jack Bernstein near Woodcrest Elementary School on Livingston Avenue.
"I didn't see any lights flashing and I didn't know I was in an active school zone," said Jack Bernstein.
Bernstein says he passed two other schools and dropped his speed but says when he got to Woodcrest Elementary school, there were no students outside and no lights flashing.
"I could have paid the speeding ticket,” Bernstein said, “and could have avoided a lot of time and trouble."
Instead, Bernstein says he wants to fight the ticket because school zone signs are not uniform and says that is a problem.
“Our children's safety is at stake here. When drivers are confused by signs it creates a problem. And that is why I am here," said Bernstein.
10TV checked out signs outside schools in Bexley, Columbus, Reynoldsburg and Whitehall.
All were different but, according to the Ohio Revised Code, they are ALL acceptable.
ORC 4511.21 (B)
“School Speed Limit During Restricted Hours” - (1)(a) Twenty miles per hour in school zones during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during the opening or closing hours, and when twenty miles per hour school speed limit signs are erected; except that, on controlled-access highways and expressways, if the right-of-way line fence has been erected without pedestrian opening, the speed shall be governed by division (B)(4) of this section and on freeways, if the right-of-way line fence has been erected without pedestrian opening, the speed shall be governed by divisions (B)(9) and (10) of this section. The end of every school zone may be marked by a sign indicating the end of the zone.
The code does not indicate there be a uniform system, that signs must have flashing lights or give notice of the specific hours the speed limit is in effect.
Bernstein says that is a problem, and Ohio should do better.
"The problem is nobody knows what these hours are. What restricted hours really are,” said Bernstein “The only way we have of knowing that a school zone is active is through flashing lights or if the actual hours are posted."
Bernstein’s case was continued because one, of his two witnesses, was not available to testify. Bernstein is due back in court in December.
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