Amityville Considers Ban Of Auto Test Driving On Residential Streets

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island village is considering banning auto dealerships from test driving vehicles on residential streets.

Amityville residents say vehicles from nearby auto dealerships that are taken out for test drives create potential safety hazards on normally quiet residential streets, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.

“We have children up and down this street and so on. We have school buses coming by and so on and so forth,” one resident said.

After receiving multiple complaints, the Amityville village board is now considering a proposed law that would ban test driving cars on residential streets.

“It can’t be like the wild, wild west where people just do what they want,” one resident said.

“Be aware of what’s around the dealership and don’t drive like an idiot,” another woman advised.

It’s a community blessed with an abundance of commercial vehicle businesses, some 25 selling new and used cars as well as motor vehicle repair and body shops along a strip of Merrick Road, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

Business is booming at Security Dodge Jeep Chrysler, which straddles a commercial and residential area.

“It just seems like they are picking on the businesses. In all fairness, we don’t think it’s right,” employee John La Francesca said.

Owner Gabriel Vigorito bristled at the village’s proposed ban, saying the constant speeding is not coming from customers or employees.

“I’ll show you a log. If we have three test drives a day, it’s a lot,” he said.

“Look at them speeding down the road. Those are none of my cars,” he added.

Some test drivers told CBS2 they are careful not to rev engines, or brake or accelerate quickly.

“It’s a discrimination to our Fourteenth Amendment rights — trying to single me out because it’s an election year,” one man said.

The village said it welcomes and supports local businesses. The law would be the first of its kind on Long Island.

“Test driving be done on roads within the business district, the commercial district, and the industrial district, but not the residential districts,” Amityville Village attorney Richard Handler said.

Enforcing the ban could be difficult, since many streets are zoned partially commercial and partially residential.

One homeowner said she’s hopeful the problem can be worked out.

“We should all work together,” she said. “Can’t we all get along?”

Residents and business owners are calling for a public hearing on the proposed ban.

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