Tom Leggiere of Port Jefferson Station is holding some of...

Tom Leggiere of Port Jefferson Station is holding some of the notices he received for unpaid parking tickets issued to a car he sold in 2005. (March 18, 2010) Credit: Photo by Gwen Young

There have been many troubling stories about the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency in Hempstead over the years.

This is not one of them. Not anymore. Ten tickets issued to Tom Leggiere of Port Jefferson Station that should've been dismissed in 2008 were finally taken off the books Monday.

We wrote about Leggiere's problem last week. He had contacted us after getting dunning notices for more than $600 from a collection agency on tickets that should've been dismissed.

In 2005, Leggiere sold his 1993 Honda, but the new owner never registered the car, making Leggiere the last owner of record. (Leggiere likely didn't scrape off the registration sticker from the windshield before the buyer drove off in the Honda.) The next year, he started getting tickets for various violations including unregistered vehicle, incorrect license plates and no inspection sticker.

Leggiere eventually hired a lawyer who told him that all the tickets had been dismissed in court. In reality, only 22 of the 32 tickets were discharged. That's why Leggiere was getting dunning notices.

We talked with the traffic agency's executive director, John G. Marks, asking him to look into what appeared to be an attorney or clerical error. Marks invited Leggiere to meet with him.

"He came in last night and he had appropriate proof," of the car sale [a copy of the receipt signed by the buyer], Marks said Tuesday. "There were 10 tickets, all were dismissed in the interest of justice." The collection agency will be sent a notice about the changes, he added.

"I don't know whose fault it was," Marks said. "I want to take steps that it doesn't happen again."

Leggiere said he was relieved and grateful the issue had been resolved.

 

Neighbor's driveway lights keep him awake

 

My next-door neighbor installed six spotlights in her driveway a few months ago that shine at my bedroom windows all night. I've been keeping my blinds shut, but it will become a problem as the weather gets nice and I open my windows at night. Is there a law against lights shining into windows?

Michael Vaccarelli, Wantagh

After our call, the Town of Hempstead sent a code enforcement officer to ask the neighbor to shield or redirect the spotlights. However the resident was "not receptive" and told the officer that she had installed the lights at the recommendation of Nassau police following vandalism to her property last year.

Town spokesman Michael Deery said the visit was done "as a courtesy" to our reader since there are no regulations in town code that restrict shining driveway lights at windows. There is a town code that restricts pool lights, he said.

Deery said the town attorney's office plans to explore the possibility of modifying town code to include driveway spotlights as well. "There may be a reason why it's not in the code," Deery said. "The town attorney will look at the law."

Such disputes are "a matter between private individuals," Deery said, but the town is willing to speak to homeowners, as in this case, where neighbors do not get along.

Town of Hempstead residents with lighting concerns involving neighbors can contact the town's Building Department at 516-538-8500.

- MICHAEL R. EBERT

 

She gets yes and no for turn arrows

 

In January, we wrote about Judith-Ann Barnett of Oyster Bay who was seeking two left-hand turn signals on Route 106 in Oyster Bay: one at the entrance to the Pine Hollow Shopping Center and the other at the intersection of Berry Hill Road. Both places have turning lanes, but no left-turn arrows.

In response, the state's Department of Transportation launched a traffic study. The verdict: It's a split decision.

At the shopping center, the DOT aims to install a left-turn arrow, but only if the property owner fixes the parking lot's traffic congestion problem. Currently, exiting vehicles get backed up, blocking cars trying to enter.

"This situation would worsen and create more of a hazard if a large number of vehicles attempted to enter the parking lot at one time," said DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters.

Peters said DOT engineers plan to meet with the owner to encourage him to redesign the lot's entry/exit access. If the owner agrees, the DOT will install the left-turn arrow.

Regarding the Berry Hill intersection, DOT engineers determined that a turn arrow "is not appropriate" because, during rush hour, the volume of southbound traffic on Route 106 extends beyond the left-turn lane, blocking vehicles from accessing that lane. The road is too narrow to extend the left-turn lane, and if there's a turn arrow, drivers will cross the double-yellow line to get into the turn lane.

"Engineers cannot install a left-turn arrow that might encourage additional vehicles to drive into the opposing traffic lane in order to access the left arrow," Peters said.

Drivers with concerns about traffic signals on state roads can contact the DOT's Regional Traffic Engineering office at 631-952-6020.

- MICHAEL R. EBERT