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Suffolk County Targets Unsafe Drivers

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Long Island Expressway - May 23, 2011 (credit: TrafficLand / WCBS 880)

Long Island Expressway – May 23, 2011 (credit: TrafficLand / WCBS 880)

xir_feature Mike Xirinachs
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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.

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