The tragic death of Brittney Walsh and the prosecution of the driver accused of causing her death raise many concerns ["DWI charge now murder," News, July 19]. While I agree with the Suffolk County prosecutor that such a blatant and depraved example of disregard for the lives of others must be pursued in court, it still leaves me quite wary of driving in Suffolk County, especially on Montauk Highway.
The demonization of drunken driving, while justified, lets the rest of us off the hook much too easily. More than 32,000 people die on U.S. roads annually. The vast majority of these fatalities had nothing to do with alcohol. Many are due to an absolute disregard for the rules of the road. They involve motorists driving too fast for conditions and situations. Drivers on Long Island routinely plow through parking lots at 50 mph!
The many deaths involve disregard for intersections, where most fatalities occur. People don't stop at red lights here; they hit the gas when they near a yellow light. And of course, they never believe an accident was their fault.
Driving while intoxicated is the tip of the very large iceberg representing road fatalities. Let's all take a good look in the mirror. Most road tragedies are due to DWS, driving while stupid. Let's demonize that!
A good start would be doing something about TV auto ads. How is watching a professional driver in a Mercedes traveling sideways on a wet road, barely in control of forces that would flip the car if a nonprofessional were at the wheel, supposed to encourage the viewer to drive safely?
Bradley L. White, East Meadow
I fully support the Suffolk County district attorney in bringing a charge of murder in the death of Brittney Walsh. Although I did not know this young lady or her family, my heart goes out to them for this unspeakable horror, and I keep them in my prayers.
We have to thank God every day for what we have and stop giving a pass to irresponsible people who cause these accidents.
William Devlin, Rockville Centre