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OpinionLetters

The debate over older drivers

Newsday readers respond.

Alvin Stark, left, with his son, Ric, has

Alvin Stark, left, with his son, Ric, has been having medical issues since he entered his mid-80s and decided to stop driving. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

An article by Robert Brodsky [“Slow drive to giving up the wheel,” News, Aug. 19] uses misleading statistics and poorly researched examples to bring home his case about older drivers.

The quoted statistics are about accidents in which older drivers were “involved.” They do not say who caused the accident. Everybody who works with statistics knows that those quoted should be used only for comparisons with statistics for different age groups. Brodsky did not do that. It appears from this article that older drivers are guilty just by being present at an accident. They are guilty until proven innocent. We, older drivers, should not be judged by our age group but as individuals, by our personal health, eyesight, ability to drive and our respect for the laws of the road.

George Gross, Syosset

There is one caveat to giving up driving. Drivers who want to surrender their licenses should exchange them for photo ID cards. The Department of Motor Vehicles will not issue this automatically and, from my experience, applying after the fact is difficult. Without photo ID, you will find banking and other activities out of reach.

Ken Noble, Bayport

My husband and I divide our time between retirement communities in Florida and on Long Island. In Florida, seniors who can no longer drive are served by free private and public shuttle buses to get around. Our residential community on Long Island has no such shuttle bus. I do appreciate the Suffolk County Accessible Transportation service, but the county should do more to publicize it. Many of my friends were unaware of it until I explained how to use it.

Mary Ann Sheeler, Moriches

Long Island’s use of speed cameras

Nassau County is right to again consider the use of speed cameras near schools that want them [“Speed cams’ return?,” News, Aug. 28].

I have tried driving 20 and even 25 mph as posted near schools. I have been beeped at, yelled at and even flipped the bird.

The cameras were removed after the program proved so unpopular in 2014, but if our children truly are our top priority, this situation must be corrected. It’s a no-brainer.

John Moravec, Freeport

Why all the fuss? If speed cameras are not really a money grab, then put stop signs at both ends of a road near a school. Everyone has to stop, and the cost of signs has to be cheaper than installing cameras and lights. What are you waiting for? Get to work.

Candace Burns, Brentwood

Your Aug. 31 editorial on the need for reinstating speed cameras at schools was the best argument against them. Your photo showed vehicles passing the Cantiague Elementary School in Jericho. I attended that school. The front of the building is for bus and car drop-offs, and it is across from an industrial park. No one is crossing that road, let alone school kids. Foot traffic is from the opposite side on Niagara Drive.

By your own admission, there is no statistical evidence of accidents to support the need for the cameras. Wrapped in the tired call of “for the children,” the cameras would be just a revenue generator for a county cash-strapped due to mismanagement. You say that they should be installed only if a school district wants them, and that funds should go to school safety. But what district wouldn’t want more funds? If schools must fund safety, let them use their share of the $2 billion-plus in surplus money held by Long Island districts. Don’t victimize the public. This idea was roundly rejected by the people and should not be forced on them again under the guise of safety. If the county needs more funds, it should cut its budget, not raise funds through fines and fees.

John Memoli, Massapequa

Rainy day fund editorial unfair

Newsday’s Aug. 30 editorial “‘Rainy day’ funds get failing grade” is totally unfair to prudent officials who are exercising their good judgment to save local taxpayers money.

The trustees of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library, including me, have long since recognized that ours is an aging building. Yes, we have established a capital reserve fund, and now that we need a new roof on the building as well as a new heating and air-conditioning system, we have the money to enable us to complete the renovations without burdening taxpayers with a bond issue that would have added 30 percent to 35 percent to the cost of the work. That’s not “wrong,” as Newsday would characterize it. That’s prudent management that saves our taxpayers considerable money.

Michael Polansky, Plainview

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