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OpinionLetters

Just Sayin’: Take extra care in highway work zones

Reader letters to Newsday for Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018

A state Department of Transportation impact attenuator on

A state Department of Transportation impact attenuator on a DOT truck shows damage after it was hit by a vehicle Nov. 30 on the Meadowbrook State Parkway. Photo Credit: New York State Department of Transportation

On Nov. 30, a privately owned vehicle crashed into a state Department of Transportation truck engaged in work on the Meadowbrook State Parkway. There were no injuries, but work zone crashes occur far too often and drivers must take responsibility for stopping them.

Nearly 1 million motorists travel Long Island’s state highways daily. To keep roads safe, we need the participation of each driver; especially in work zones. Eliminate distractions. Obey speed limits. Move over and slow down for flashing lights.

In 2006, state Department of Transportation employee Patrick Mapleson was filling potholes on Sunrise Highway when a distracted driver struck and killed him. We feel his loss every day. On Long Island, about 25 DOT trucks are hit each year, in addition to dozens of other crashes, including our flaggers being hit and injured.

This year, the department launched a public education campaign, “Flaggers Have Families Too,” reminding motorists to watch for personnel with flags; they are particularly vulnerable to work-zone crashes.

As the seasons change, drivers will find a different type of work on our roads — plowing. For safety, don’t crowd our plows and never pass a plow.

To keep our workers safe, as well as yourself and other drivers, slow down and stay alert in work zones.

Paul A. Karas, Albany

Editor’s note: The writer is acting commissioner of the state Department of Transportation.

A loss of $754 in 2019 in Social Security

I just received my Social Security letter showing my benefits for 2019.

The monthly deduction for Medicare is going up $83.40, and the deduction for Medicare Part D is going up $18.90.

As a result, my monthly benefit will go down $62.90. That’s an annual loss of $754.80.

I am a senior citizen, retired for 33 years. How do I make up this loss?

Donald E. Wagner, Greenport

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