Feds Strongly Recommend Safety Upgrade For Stretch Of LIE After Cop’s Death

Tragic Loss Of Officer Califano Results In Plan For Sweeping Changes

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There is danger on one of the most heavily traveled roads in America.

A federal study out Thursday recommends a 7.2-mile stretch of the Long Island Expressway undergo immediate safety changes, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The sign reads “No bicycles. Pedestrians. Horses,” but some motorists argue even in a car they’re not safe. We’re talking about a section of the dreaded LIE in Nassau County — just over the Queens border — known as “Dead Man’s Curve.”

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

From Exit 35 in Lake Success to Exit 41 in Jericho there is a stretch of terror for 223,000 daily vehicles.

As many as 25 law enforcement officers have been injured, paralyzed or killed there in the last decade, including, most recently, 39-year-old Officer Michael Califano.

“It happened right over here. It’s emotional, it is. I get choked up when I’m talking about it,” said Nassau County Highway Patrolman Louis Masino, showing McLogan the spot where Officer Califano died back in February.

Officer Masino continues to work the hazardous stretch of the LIE, where his close friend and colleague lost his life during traffic stop. With little room to pull over and winding pavement, the death of the respected cop was the last straw, according to Sen. Charles Schumer. The tragedy sparking a federal highway study.

“This is a danger not only to our police officers, but to average citizens who drive on the LIE as well,” Sen. Schumer said.

And on Thursday night, shocking results of that 43-page assessment came in. It found emergency pull-off areas, more overhead lights and cameras to deter speeders are all needed, in addition to blue strobes and reflective clothing for police officers.

“They recognize there is a problem. They should act upon it immediately. There’s federal funds available for it,” said Nassau County PBA President James Carver.

For some families that drive the LIE, changes can’t come fast enough.

“Oh I dread it. The way people drive, it scares me,” motorist Frances Griffin said.

Others acknowledge it’s a double-edged sword. They want safety changes but fear months or years of construction delays.

The State Department of Transportation says safety is its top priority, and that it has already begun some of the recommended improvements.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • suckstobeu

    If you don’t know how to drive, stay home. If you’re in the left lane and going slower than people in the middle and right lanes, you deserve to be rammed into the divider by an 18-wheeler. If you’re tailgating someone in the right lane, you deserve to be run off a bridge by a Mack truck. This is just an excuse to generate more revenue via random, automatic, petty fines. Pretty soon we’ll all be forced to drive like old women.

    • Besalel

      someone died.

      • Nick

        Because r e t a r d e d a-holes are still allowed to drive. suckstobeu is right. Remove the r e t a r d s and the roads would be safe. Roads don’t kill people. R e t a r d s kill people.

    • Tim C.

      Exactly. That’s what it’s all turning out to be: Justification for revenue. Case closed.

  • goblin

    Just another reason why pulling drivers over for frivolous violations isn’t worth the risk. Speed cameras are nothing more than a revenue generating tool all in the name of safety.

  • Jim

    IF safety is the true goal for speed limits (rare in the USA), then posted limits will be set at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions. Limits set at the 85th percentile speed have too few violators to make speed cameras pay very much, so they are not used where posted limits are set to maximize safety. I will echo the comment above, US roads are pretty terrible compared to Europe, where I just had a vacation trip. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, http://www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Casey

    Speed didn’t cause this death, a truck pulling on the shoulder did. Cameras are just a cash grab tossed in. Our infrastructure is horrible. I recently drove in Europe and saw what modern roads look like. I came back here and was dumped into 1930’s roads poorly maintained. Cameras are the answer ? Hardly.

  • ANOM

    Ah that’s why Nassau cops get paid so well and receive such nice pensions. Pulling cars over for traffic violations (another source of income for a bloated budget that includes cops as well as teachers) is rough. Yea no they should get more money.

    • Besalel

      A person died.

      • ANON


        • Besalel

          …and you’re bitching about too many traffic tickets. When exactly did New Yorkers lose all humanity?

          • Ron Reale

            When the only reason they want it fixed is to protect the POLICE, who are out there for no reason but to terrorize people trying to make a living. Notice the article didn’t say, “member of public killed, we must act”, no it said, “supercitizen that raises money for gestapo killed, protection must extended for extortion to continue unabated!”
            If they don’t like the job, stop doing it. Leave citizens alone. If one citizen has a problem with another’s actions, let them get a license number and file charges, get the police off our roads and leave us alone.
            Ron Reale

  • Rudy

    All my life, this stretch of the LIE was known as DEATH VALLEY. The residents along the LIE (Old Westbury), over the years, have fought against lighting and other safety improvements to this stretch. Their properties will devalue! Wake-up This greed is killing people!!

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