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Reckless driving: No anomaly

Carol Riggs holds a cellphone with a photo

Carol Riggs holds a cellphone with a photo of her late husband, Richard Riggs. He was killed Monday while driving on the Southern State Parkway as two drivers recklessly sped past him. Credit: James Carbone

I am so very sorry for the terrible loss experienced by the family of Richard Riggs ["Search for drivers," News, July 14]. Sadly, this could well be the experience of any of us who need to drive on the Southern State Parkway.

State Police Capt. Christopher Casale is quoted as saying that "driving in between two vehicles is not something we normally see."

My husband and I drive on the parkway once a week to babysit. It is a rare trip when we do not see this reckless behavior.

The parkway seems to be a speedway for thrill-seekers weaving in and out of lanes. This is not typical "speeding." This is life-threatening behavior that needs to be corrected before there is another terrible loss of life.

— Eileen Toomey, Huntington Station

My heart goes out to the family of Richard Riggs. Although the State Police captain said that this behavior "is not something we normally seem," I beg to differ. I see it almost every time I’m on any local road.

Some drivers operate vehicles as if they’re playing a video game. They seem to know that they won’t be caught, in part, because chasing them would be dangerous. Something has to be done.

— Debra Katz, Bellmore

Highway driving is not a game of any kind, video or otherwise ["Time to stop reckless driving," Editorial, July 16]. I feel that many of the recent car ads seen on television are perpetuating this behavior, showing their vehicles driving fast through empty city streets and other places. Our streets, whether in metropolitan areas or more suburban ones are never empty.

I have witnessed this dangerous behavior on a crowded Long Island Expressway on a beautiful Sunday while heading into the city. A group of cars was weaving in and out of traffic with GoPro cameras mounted on their roofs as well as participants in this race hanging out of sunroofs while recording.

How unfortunate that it took the loss of an individual to make this a public issue. We need to stop this before more innocent lives are lost.

— Randy E. Kraft, New Hyde Park

Our parkways are becoming increasingly dangerous for the everyday driver. Speeding, tailgating and reckless lane changing are increasing at an alarming rate.

Obvious solutions will not only decrease this reckless behavior but infuse our counties with much-needed funds. Let the counties patrol with unmarked cars. Not the current, standard unmarked cars, which are relatively easy to spot. Use seized vehicles that traditionally aren’t used.

Give double fines for offenses committed on a parkway and a mandatory 30-day suspended license for any incident that includes two or more violations at the same time. Make bad driving really hurt.

If reckless drivers know many unmarked cars are patrolling that they can’t identify — and they will suffer severe consequences — they may think twice. Any parkway driver knows an unmarked police officer could write at least three tickets every hour. Think of the revenue generated for the counties!

Tim Gallagher, Seaford

The reckless driving on the Southern State Parkway is dangerous and has gotten completely out of control. A grandfather had to lose his life before it is said that we need speed cameras and additional police ["Lawmaker wants more cameras, cops on parkway," News, July 15]. Something needed to be done a long time ago.

Speed cameras would help, but the ticket is charged to the vehicle, not the driver. Additional police would help, but it would not be safe for police to weave through traffic to try to catch these speeders. A costly solution would be helicopters that could track these vehicles and alert police to pull them over when it’s safe. Let’s impound these vehicles and punish the individuals as we do with DUI offenders.

— Rich Sundermier, Rockville Centre

Reckless driving on Long Island — what a shock. Things have changed since I took drivers education in high school in 1968. I miss the signs on the median that reminded people to "keep right except to pass" or "left lane is for passing."

State Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford) should ask the Department of Transportation to program signs to say that.

— Paul E. Martin, Freeport

I am saddened and angry about the latest fatality on the Southern State Parkway. I have lived just north of the parkway for 40 years and have been driving for almost 50 years.

Lately, I am frightened to drive on the Southern State because of the reckless drivers who speed, weave in and out and endanger everyone else on the road. This is an everyday occurrence, and I see no police presence monitoring these careless drivers.

This accident isn’t the first and won’t be the last until the police crack down on the situation.

— Linda Kalish, East Meadow

Enough already. Install speed cameras on the Southern State Parkway. If we can’t fund enough state and local police to stop the high-speed, erratic driving, let’s use cameras to identify the bad drivers and fine them accordingly.

Our Long Island lives are worth the investment in the use of technology to stop speeding that leads to injury and death.

— Bill Kunz, Malverne

I drive on the Southern State Parkway every day. It is not a racetrack. The police let you drive 10 miles per hour above the speed limit, not 85 mph while weaving. These reckless drivers do not own the parkway — we all own it. These dangerous drivers should consider that their grandmother might be in the car they just cut off.

Also of no help, the exit and entrance ramps at exit 31 in Bethpage are full of potholes and are another hazard, but that’s just another issue.

— Lewis Bonagura, Massapequa

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