Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, District Attorney Kathleen Rice...

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey talk about the dangers of drunken driving at a New Year's Eve news conference about increased police patrolling over holiday weekend. (Dec. 30, 2010) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is planning to meet with the acting director of the state Department of Transportation this month to talk about the best way to stop wrong-way crashes on Long Island.

The meeting will be a follow-up to a letter Rice sent to acting state DOT Commissioner Stanley Gee in November, asking him to explore additional strategies to stop wrong-way crashes.

According to Nassau and Suffolk police and the Suffolk County sheriff's office, at least 15 people have been arrested on wrong-way DWI charges since Nov. 15, when off-duty NYPD Officer Andre Menzies, 35, of North Babylon, was killed by an accused wrong-way drunken driver on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills.

Rice said that she will suggest two solutions in the meeting with the DOT.

First, she said, she will propose an amendment to the state's Vehicle and Traffic Law to recognize wrong-way driving as a specific offense.

"Our laws with respect to these wrong-way incidents are weak," the district attorney said in a statement.

Secondly, Rice is asking the DOT to try a pilot program using "rumble strips" on exit ramps to help drivers realize that they are entering a highway from the wrong direction.

A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

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