Suffolk County Targets Unsafe Drivers

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – A nine-member police task force is patrolling Suffolk County roadways in search of unsafe drivers.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Roads

They’ve already handed out more than 2,000 tickets for illegal turns, disobeying traffic signs, weaving in traffic, and talking on cell phones behind the wheel.

At least one driver is used to seeing that all the time.

“People on their cell phones, texting on the phone while they’re driving, which, to me, might even be worse than speaking on the phone,” Michael told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “If I see somebody swerving, I stay back. I step on my brake a little bit, let him get ahead of me, and then if I can turn off, I turn off.”

In 2009, Suffolk County led the state in traffic fatalities.

The police commissioner calls it a driving culture that needs to change.

Aggressive driving seems a big problem on the island and has Sayeed, a cab driver, offering some helpful advice.

“Please be careful and be patient,” he says.

More from Mike Xirinachs
  • T. Cook

    Easy fix: $1000 fine and TWO year suspension of license and SIX MONTHS in jail for FIRST OFFENSE! $5,000 fine and PERMANENT loss of license, two years in jail for SECOND OFFENSE! $10,000 fine and FIVE YEARS IN JAIL for THIRD OFFENSE! There wont be a FORTH OFFENSE!

  • Nick

    So why weren’t they handing out these tickets before? Waiting for someone to die so that Suffolk will have a better tourist attraction? Oh wait, is the Lido Beach thing dying down already?

    • DaleAuburn

      Lido Beach is in Nassau County, next door to Long Beach. But you already knew that.

  • marx engels

    let’s totally ban cellphones and texting behind the wheel. You imbeciles are driving an average two-ton machine that can kill someone. You’re supposed to be paying attention to the road; this is tantamount to attempted murder, and the same as drunk driving. Anybody caught driving and talking on the f***ing phone or texting should lose their license for good! A lot of you are fat slobs; get off your fat behinds and walk, ride a bicycle, try Suffolk County Transit, etc.

  • Ronny

    I think anybody who brands a drivers capibalities by age isn’t too swift. Sure your abilities may change with age but in place you develope intelligence. You don’t find seniors speeding. That is done by you’re under mostly under 55 and more often then not by drivers under 30. There are more drivers summoned under 30 then over 65. A good percentage of licensed drivers on the road today shouldn’t be on the road at all. Also most of you’re serious accidents involve non-licensed or suspended license drivers all under 65.

  • kendra

    that saves alot of time and alot of heartach so i that is will thinking its a brilliant idea so now the drivers to be more careful.

  • Dale Auburn

    Isn’t unsafe driving a Constitutionally guaranteed right?

  • Bob Fowler

    The reality is that driving is a privilege and not a right. Far too many people are on the road, without reasonable skills. Your skills should determine where and when you can drive.

    Having different limits (such as junior licenses) would be a good start. Mandatory road tests for anyone over 50 (every 5 years to 60, every 2 years to 70, and every year after that) would help fossils (of which I am one) be less dangerous to themselves and others. Restricting where people can drive (highways, parkways, local streets only…) would also help less skilled drivers from going beyond their skills.

    I have been driving for over 35 years, and have logged more than 1 million miles…not all safely. I have seen the deterioration of driving skills over the years. This must spread wider than Suffolk County because people are dying.

    • karlson

      Hey Bob,

      There’s no reason to have mandatory road exams for people at age 50 if their license is clean – no tickets and no accidents! It’s the problem driver with a checkerboard license that has been suspended once or twice or has multiple moving violations that needs to be addressed!

      I guess you’re not 50 yet. Let’s see your license! Is it clean? When you have nothing to hide then you can complain about others with moving violations.

      There are plenty of older drivers that are safe and are 50 and older. Try to give them a break when you are driving. If you live long enough and drive safely yourself, you may also get to 50!

  • Clean Up Suffolk

    Everytime I am on the road, I ALWAYS see someone on the phone, texting, or driving recklessly. I have yet able to have a peaceful drive without witnessing someone moron driver. Please clean up the streets.

  • Roy

    I wish the NJ State police would do a crackdown on the Nj Turnpike,and The Garden State Parkway,,,,,,,,,,,,,,both roads are out of control..

  • Linda

    There is no regard in general from the people driving. Respect, consideration, all are out of the window. Folks just text, talk on the phone and blast radios as though they are the only persons around. When they have accidents, it becomes ‘temporary insanity’ pleas. It has to stop. Thank you Suffolk Police!

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