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Dealing with reckless driving

The wreckage from a recent fatal crash on

The wreckage from a recent fatal crash on the Southern State Parkway. Credit: Howard Simmons

Reckless driver issues addressed

Most readers proposed fines and suspended licenses  as penalties to discourage    the epidemic of dangerous driving ["Ways to stop reckless driving," Letters, July 21].  Checking Newsday articles over just the past five years would reveal how ineffective this approach has been in controlling these drivers. Storie cite that a "license had been suspended" 17, 49 or even 76 times.It seems reasonable to assume that   perhaps thousands drive without a valid license on Long Island.  

Question for our local judiciary: Why would someone whose license has been suspended 17 times (or even six or fewer) respect a court order for the 18th suspension? It seems that only after a driver causes a fatal collision the court remands him to custody. Doesn’t the judge who released him after the last court appearance bear some responsibility ?

Suffolk County will only become more dangerous to drive in until reckless drivers are treated like the criminals they are and are punished accordingly.

— Stephen Sullivan, W. Babylon

Many readers seem to favor cameras and other technology to catch reckless drivers. What they may not realize is that you cannot hold vehicle owners responsible, other than financially, for the recklessness of a driver of that vehicle.   Reckless, speeding drivers do not adhere to societal norms. They most likely are unlicensed, and the cars often stolen, or registered to a relative or girlfriend because the driver is unlicensed or cannot get insurance.

The only way to take them off the roads is to arrest them, whether it is for reckless driving, unlicensed operation, uninsured vehicle, or something else. Why are there so many state troopers upstate — where traffic flows  and drivers are generally considerate and follow rules — and so few troopers on Long Island? Why do we hardly see the Nassau County Highway Patrol anymore? It patrolled often  40 years ago.

The idea that reckless drivers  will repay relatives for fines  is ridiculous, even if they had the money.  The only way to correct this behavior is to arrest the drivers and seize the cars they are driving until the court proceedings are complete.

— Charles Blatt, Levittown

The writer is a retired NYPD sergeant.

Insurance companies can only run a license plate relating to a specific claim and cannot have drivers removed from insurance rolls, as a reader suggested. New York State has regulations regarding this. I worked in the industry for more than 30 years. Blatant fraud is reported to law enforcement, but given issues officials deal with daily, this would be added to the pile (on the bottom).

The recent state of our roadways and lack of police presence is past the critical point. I have encountered reckless, dangerous driving several times in recent months, and it’s only getting worse, not just on the Southern State Parkway. Police action, not just presence, is needed.

Speed cameras are probably the best idea because drivers might flee, and a chase is dangerous. I recall similar situations in the 1980s, when speed traps were set up . We need to support the police in this endeavor.

— Elizabeth Czelowalnik, Huntington

The writer retired as a senior claims investigator in the special investigations unit of an insurance company.

Yes, automobiles of years gone by would sustain less damage in an accident, but they were less safe for occupants than today’s vehicles with seat belts, air bags and sensors.  

— Allan Johanson, Port Washington