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OpinionLetters

Fed up with LI's reckless, bad drivers

The scene of a deadly crash on Montauk

The scene of a deadly crash on Montauk Highway in Quogue on July 25. Credit: James Carbone

This is becoming an all-too-familiar occurrence ["LI’s deadly roads spare no one," Editorial, July 27]. Vehicles speeding on almost all streets and highways, trying to jump in front of so many vehicles. Weaving between lanes, sometimes even passing on the shoulder, and crashes.

The common denominators? Lack of enforcement and disrespect for traffic laws. We need more state troopers on our parkways, more highway police officers for Nassau and Suffolk counties. Maybe they can be augmented by sheriffs’ officers.

Reduce the speed limit to 50 miles per hour on the Long Island Expressway and 40 mph on parkways, and no commercial vehicles in the left and HOV lanes.

— Charles F. Gyss, Dix Hills

After reading "Officials: 4 car crashes in 2 hours" [News, July 27], I was not really surprised. Seeing people constantly driving above the speed limit, reckless and distracted driving, it’s no wonder accidents are happening at an alarming rate. With little apparent police presence, they are driving with impunity — until something bad happens.

Only one day earlier, two other crashes resulted in several fatalities, and both were apparently caused by reckless driving. We are not only dealing with a pandemic, but also an epidemic of reckless driving that will only get worse unless people are forced to drive safely.

— Charles J. Brown, Levittown

I agree with the legislators that limiting the use of video cameras hampers police investigations of dangerous activities ["Lawmakers call for end to highway cam privacy," News, July 28]. If reckless drivers know that their actions could lead to arrest and jail time, they might curtail those behaviors that put others at risk.

Responsible drivers have nothing to fear from cameras that record their driving. I reject the idea of those who say it is infringing on their privacy. Once we put ourselves on the roads, we are no longer private. Blackout windows are now illegal — drivers need to be seen.

Dangerous, careless, and reckless driving has caused too much tragedy. It’s time for it to end. Drivers compete against each other weaving in and out of traffic like it’s a video game.

Let’s stop coddling and protecting those who cause crashes. It’s time.

— Karen Musumeci, Levittown

Is it really that hard to solve speeding driver problems? Install speed cameras. Yes, the car owner gets the ticket, not the driver — so what?

First offense is a warning, second is a fine, third is double the fine, and then progressively larger fines. If the fines aren’t paid, impound the car. Use the fines to fund street sweepers to clean our highways’ disgusting medians and shoulders.

These issues will be solved by self-driving cars. I hope I survive driving until then.

— Robert Cheeseman, Wantagh

I, too, favor cameras and technology to discourage reckless driving ["Reckless driver fixes addressed," July 25]. I’m talking mobile cameras. Mount these cameras in unmarked vehicles such as small SUVs or vans, and drive them on the parkways, highways, expressways and high-volume streets. Eventually, with driverless cars, the vehicles wouldn’t even need a driver. The cameras alone could record every lane-change violation including no-signal and solid-line infractions. They would record and document all erratic and drunk driving, road rage, speeding, red-light and stop-sign infractions, and more.

It would generate more than enough revenue to pay for itself and to repair our roads — without raising taxes.

But we must hold registered car owners financially responsible unless the car had been reported stolen. After paying bigger and bigger fines,   registered car owners likely would not willingly allow reckless drivers to use their cars.

The biggest anticipated positive, though, would be that many more drivers would slowly learn to become safer drivers.

— Barney Rauert, Williston Park

It was sad, depressing and discouraging to read about the deaths of innocents by reckless and/or DUI drivers.

It appears that our destinies are in the hands of either reckless gun owners or reckless drivers. We have allowed the two to become epidemics.

It also will take eons before new laws reduce the number of traffic fatalities on Long Island. People, especially bartenders, need to be mindful and exercise their share of responsibility by stopping their friend, family member or customer from driving after consumption of even a minimal amount of an intoxicating substance.

Warnings, revoking licenses and issuing fines will not solve this problem. Confiscate vehicles and hold accountable and charge as criminals anyone connected to a driver who gets behind the wheel under the influence and causes a crash.

— Sharada Jayagopal, East Williston

My wife and I visit family in New Jersey almost every weekend for more than 15 years. We usually drive on the Cross Island and Belt parkways. The past few years, reckless driving has gotten so bad that we installed a dashcam to record the trips in case we are involved in an accident. Speeding, weaving, passing from the right lane and other dangerous maneuvers are normal.

I know there is no perfect solution, but speed cameras would definitely help control the problem. There’s nothing like getting a notice of a speed violation and a hefty fine in the mail to slow down drivers. If the vehicle owner was not driving that day, the owner would likely think twice before lending a car to a driver who was ticketed.

— Tom Prasso, Bellerose

Newsday has recently published several reports of horrific road accidents as well as letters lamenting aggressive and reckless driving.

I thought this was a New York phenomenon. But on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I found this to be false.

I am not a timid driver, but the highways were frightening. The average speed that most cars were traveling I would estimate at 70-75 mph, but for many no speed was fast enough, and cars were tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic at more than 80 mph. Vehicles passed on the right shoulder at high speeds, and some motorcyclists seemed to go more than 100 mph. It was out of "Fast and Furious."

I saw three major accidents on I-95 and the D.C. Beltway.

During this entire trip, I spotted maybe four police cars. I don’t understand the lack of patrol cars.

Road carnage is only going to get worse unless something is done.

— Jeffrey Rothburd, Dix Hills

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