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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Glaring traffic typo causes both laughter and concern

It goes without question that some of the most stringent vehicle traffic laws concern schools. Specifically, motorists are required to reduce their speeds and be prepared to stop so that children can make their way across the streets surrounding their schools safely. Generally, these traffic restrictions are denoted by specific street signs or "SCHOOL X-NG" warnings printed directly onto the pavement.

Interestingly, motorists on the Lower East Side have been greeted with an entirely different message on the pavement outside an area school: "SHCOOL X-NG."

According to a recent report in the New York Post, the painfully embarrassing spelling error has been outside of Marta Valle High School -- unnoticed by either students or school officials -- for quite some time.

In fact, another report indicates that the "SHCOOL X-NG" message has been prominently displayed since July 2010.

Who's to blame for this error?

While most people would be tempted to point the finger squarely at officials with the Department of Transportation (DOT), the agency has already gone on record to identify the culprit as a utility provider that had performed maintenance on the street at an earlier date.

DOT officials explained yesterday that in maintenance situations the utility providers are responsible for both removing and returning all street markings to their previous positions. They also indicated that Con Edison -- the utility provider that performed the work -- had been contacted about fixing their typo as soon as possible.

Indeed, it appears that this has already occurred, as a Con Edison crew used heavy machinery to remove the textured tape -- a permanent street adhesive -- used to spell out the C and H. As a result, "SHCOOL X-NG" is now "SCHOOL X-NG."

While the blame for the typo is being placed on Con Edison, at least one city worker thinks that school officials are equally at fault.

"Regardless of who painted it, someone from the school should have been outside supervising, or noticed it by now," said the anonymous city worker. "This is sloppy work."

If you have been issued a traffic citation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Stay tuned for further developments from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

Sources:

The New York Post, "In for a bad spell" Jan. 24, 2012

The Washington Post, "'SHCOOL' is 'SCHOOL' again in street sign outside a NYC school building" Jan. 25, 2012

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