Various laws apply to pedestrians
While our colleagues continue their work to secure engineering improvements on Long Island’s unsafe roadways, other advocates are addressing the problem now through law-based education ["6 LI communities where walkers are at risk," News, June 12].
People are unaware of several related laws. One is about walking direction, and it makes a huge difference in saving lives. Walking facing traffic in the absence of a sidewalk is the safer option, mainly because drivers are inherently attuned to recognize a face and make a subconscious decision to “slow down.” At intersections with Walk / Don’t Walk signals, everyone must obey the messaging. At non-signaled crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way once they set foot in the marked crosswalk and cars must yield. Pedestrians do not have the same protection when crossing in the absence of a marked crosswalk.
In 2021, a remarkable increase in pedestrian deaths/injuries occurred. The Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research recorded 1,024 pedestrian deaths or injuries of those 18 and older in Nassau and Suffolk counties – about a 20% increase from the prior year.
Data collected by the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety for October 2020 through September 2021 revealed overwhelming concern regarding the lack of sidewalks. Vehicular speed is another worry. The data collected included pedestrians walking in many intersections in Newsday's article.
Bike lanes, shrinking roadways and more sidewalks are in the works, but they take time. A bit of pedestrian law knowledge will go a long way in saving lives and reducing injuries so that all can Walk Safe Long Island.
Cindy Brown, Mineola
The writer is executive director of the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety.
Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility of drivers and pedestrians. One area identified for speeders is Hempstead, and I'm focusing on one road in particular, near The Academy Charter School on Franklin Street near Jackson Street and Bedell Avenue. In addition to cars speeding there, pedestrians frequently dart into the street against traffic controls and in the middle of the block. It brings to mind a tragic accident in November, when a man was running in the street at night there and was hit by a bus and died. Drivers and pedestrians all need to be responsible to follow the rules of the road to ensure everyone's safety.
Michael Sullivan, Garden City
Schools should focus on U.S. Constitution
As a high school social studies teacher for 30 years, I agree that the U.S. History and Government Regents exam should be eliminated [“Regents exam a waste of time,” Letters, June 2]. The real problem is the state is so concentrated on English language skills and math and science, that social studies has taken a back seat. Not until the seventh grade do students really study the Constitution.
If we eventually are led by an oligarchy or a dictator, it does not matter how proficient we are in language skills or math and science, as the government will determine what we can and cannot do. Events in the past year have shown how ignorant people are about the Constitution. It is more precious and vital than the other subjects and should be emphasized at all grade levels.
Deborah Mellon, Huntington
Southern border crisis as key as Jan. 6
A reader makes a point of Fox News not televising the first Jan. 6 congressional hearings for various reasons ["Trump deserves chance at defense," Letters, June 15]. If you want to discuss fairness, why is Fox the only major network frequently covering the crisis at the Mexican border? This is just as much a part of our history — arguably more so.
The Jan. 6 hearings are a way to keep bashing former President Donald Trump. Why keep him in the headlines?
Isabelle Belman, Westbury
E. Hampton Airport is no longer the same
Complaints about the East Hampton Airport are not limited to those who live "near" the facility ["Buy near an airport and you'll hear . . . ," Letters, June 16]. Those who push that argument are ignoring data and are poorly informed. When I built my home more than two miles from the airport 32 years ago, it was unusual to see or hear two or three planes overhead in an hour. Last Monday, three departing jets streaked above my yard within eight minutes, not to mention all the other planes during the day.
The airport was intended for recreational and agricultural purposes and was never intended to become the commercial gold mine it has morphed into.
Frank Setteducati, Bridgehampton
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN OUR DAILY CONVERSATION. Email your opinion on the issues of the day to email@example.com. Submissions should be no more than 200 words. Please provide your full name, hometown, phone numbers and any relevant expertise or affiliation. Include the headline and date of the article you are responding to. Letters become the property of Newsday and are edited for all media. Due to volume, readers are limited to one letter in print every 45 days. Published letters reflect the ratio received on each topic.