Michael Valva listens to his attorney at the Suffolk County Court...

Michael Valva listens to his attorney at the Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Sept. 12. Credit: James Carbone

Pedestrian fatalities can be prevented

The recent pedestrian deaths and injuries caused by motorists are a reminder that Long Island has a silent epidemic on its hands ["Police: Medford boy dies after hit-and-run," News, Oct. 16]. Four such tragedies occurred recently. These injuries and deaths are preventable.

New York State's pedestrian and traffic safety laws are some of the country's best, but many ignore them – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists included. Many don’t even know these laws exist. Speeding as well as driving while impaired are main reasons for the carnage. It also doesn’t help that many roads lack pedestrian crosswalks, proper signals, bike lanes or even sidewalks. That’s an engineering issue and a funding concern. For now, Long Islanders can lessen this epidemic by knowing and acting upon the laws in place to keep them safe.

The rules are simple. Wear reflective clothing. Cars must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Ride bicycles in the same direction as traffic. The laws are on the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website, and more information is at WalkSafeLI.org.

Cindy Brown, Westbury

The writer is executive director for the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety.

Valva should keep pension if convicted

A reader says that a  convicted cop should lose his pension ["Drop pensions for convicted officers," Letters, Oct. 14]. If a cop "retires" and did his  job under honorable conditions, then  he deserve the pension he has earned once he retires. I'm concerned that every time a cop may be involved in something, people will say take away his pension. Why? Aren't there other pensioners? All federal, state, city and county employees, and others, should be held to the same standard. If Michael Valva is convicted, then he should be sentenced for the crime against his son. However, he should be afforded the same rights as anyone else arrested or convicted. If the pension rules change, then  they should be applied to all.

Larry Lombardo, Lynbrook

The writer is a retired New York City transit police sergeant.

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