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Suffolk police to target traffic violators in school zones

As students head back to class over the next several weeks, Suffolk County police want to remind drivers to be extra vigilant on the roads.

To get the point across, the police department will be cracking down on traffic violations in school zones from Sept. 7-30.

Under “Operation Safe School Zone,” police will be patrolling in marked and unmarked cars to target speeding, tailgating, school-bus passing and junior driver’s license violations. They’ll also be strictly enforcing distracted-driving violations like texting or talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device.

“Keeping students safe as they arrive to and leave from school is a high priority,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said in a news release. “Drivers must be aware of the real risks created by dangerous driving in school zones and we will not tolerate unsafe driving in and around our schools.”

Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a Nassau County police spokesman, said Nassau usually conducts a school bus safety campaign around this time of year, during which it posts notices on police cruisers and county-owned structures reminding drivers to come to a full stop in either direction when a school bus stops and has its lights on.

He said police also will keep an eye out for speeders and distracted drivers.

And to further encourage driving safely, he said, “There’s also the persuadable element of giving tickets.”

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