The LIRR spent $860,000 on a feasibility study of battery-powered...

The LIRR spent $860,000 on a feasibility study of battery-powered cars. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Whom do you trust? It’s a different time

The editorial “Polio case shows vaccines are vital” was eye-opening [Opinion, Aug. 9]. There’s an awful strain coursing through America other than a virus.

Too many people have a “can’t trust anything anymore” mindset, and it’s diminishing our nation. They can’t trust our vaccines, elections or mainstream news media and, of course, the deep state is supposedly embedded in our government, undermining the will of the people.

These same people received their childhood vaccines, eliminating onetime scourges such as polio and measles. The fact that hundreds of millions of children have been safely vaccinated isn’t enough evidence of the safety and efficacy of these vaccines?

Are they serious that after more than 5.3 billion people worldwide have been safely vaccinated against COVID-19, we still can’t trust those vaccines, but we can trust what Alex Jones has to say?

These vaccine skeptics should be thankful that social media didn’t exist when they were children and that they didn’t have themselves as parents, or many of them wouldn’t be here today.

— Jeff Fass, Sayville

Getting a charge out of LIRR decision

I find it unconscionable that it took eight months and $860,000 to make a go/no-go decision on the battery matter [“LIRR stops plan for battery-powered cars,” News, Aug. 8].

As a former project management professional who’s done his share of feasibility studies, I’d think that a high-level feasibility study at a fraction of the cost could have produced the same conclusion. A result of $13 million versus $3.6 million per car?

At a certain point, this sounds like a possible lack of oversight in consultant spending. Who’s watching the piggy bank?

— Bill McDermott, Long Beach

Certainly, it’s way past time for the Long Island Rail Road to have a reliable all-electric rail system.

The decision to not move forward with a prototype train car with batteries was disappointing to read because it was deemed too expensive.

Instead of batteries on each car, why not a dedicated battery car(s) that could power the existing electric trains?

If feasible, it would offer more options for the size of trains, and could prevent recharging delays as they could swap charged “batteries” for drained ones.

— Steve Johnston, Kings Park

It is difficult for me to understand why the Long Island Rail Road didn’t consider a feasibility study from Lionel. Their years of experience would have been invaluable.

— John F. Muldoon, West Babylon

License plate readers won’t always work

Suffolk and Nassau counties have installed license plate readers [“70 license plate readers added,” News, Aug. 3]. They won’t do any good, though, if the plate is unreadable because it has a plastic cover, paint scratched off, a substance applied, an empty bike rack or other obstructions.

New York City has lost out on roughly $75 million in automated enforcement revenue over the past two years because of obstructed or improper license plates. How much have Suffolk and Nassau counties lost?

Motorists should be fully aware of their responsibility to have legible plates, and the police should enforce these vehicle traffic laws, but every time I drive around, I see illegible plates. Maybe plate inspection should be part of the annual safety inspection, and the owner should have to affirm the plate is legible on the registration renewal form.

— Philip Potter, Valley Stream

I’ve noticed many cars traveling Long Island roadways with damaged, peeling, covered or intentionally defaced license plates. Some may be genuine wear or a defect in manufacturing, but I’ve seen plates with tampered letters and/or numbers and portions peeled away, leaving bare metal and the plate unreadable.

Others have coverings that distort or darken the plate so it is undetectable to a police officer. They also evade cameras at cashless toll collection lanes, school bus and speed zones, and red-light cameras.

This could cost our state millions of dollars, and it affects other drivers’ and pedestrians’ safety. It also diminishes funding for maintaining our roads, bridges and tunnels. Not to mention allowing the growing number of bad drivers to continue passing stopped school buses, speeding and running red lights with no fear of receiving a summons.

Also, if the vehicle is involved in a crime, without anyone being able to read the license plate, it makes it difficult for law enforcement to track down the offenders.

Enforcement needs to be stepped up.

— John Albertson, Greenlawn

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