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OpinionLetters

Letter: Take harder look at usefulness of limos

From left, Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park,

From left, Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park, and Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown, died Saturday, July 18, 2015, after their limo collided with a truck driven by a suspected drunken driver in Cutchogue. Photo Credit: Family photos / Randee Daddona

It’s been more than 50 years since Ralph Nader published “Unsafe At Any Speed” and anyone who lives on the North Fork can testify that this is true of the limos that populate our area on weekends throughout the year [“Deadly LI limo crash: What went wrong,” News, Dec. 21].

Although limousines are an undoubtable convenience for many winery customers, the residents of the East End can offer a litany of unbelievable U-turns, stops and starts they have seen.

Newsday’s report of the grand jury findings on the July 2015 collision hints at, but comes up short of declaring, the obvious: These vehicles are a hazard to occupants, pedestrians and other motorists, and they should be banned from our roads.

The intersection of Depot Lane and Route 48 in Cutchogue is hazardous, but nothing short of expanding Route 48 to six lanes could accommodate the wide U-turn these vehicles require when leaving Vineyard 48.

Many wineries and farm stands have signs that dictate “No limos” for reasons of safety as well as decorum. Customers with even a couple of tastings in them aren’t always the most cordial, patient or pleasant, never mind interested in safety.

Let’s take a long, hard look at whether limos benefit the general populace or just the livery business and select wineries.

Jim Underwood, Laurel

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