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Port Washington Police Commissioners on 'Careless Driving'

A blatant disregard for the law seems prevalent in Port Washington, the commissioners say.

In recent articles and comments by the public it has been mentioned that the is not doing its job. U-turns, speeding and a blatant disregard for the law seems to be widespread these days. Bear in mind, however, that the PWPD cannot be everywhere at once, and that part of the problem is indeed the attitude of the drivers in our community.

We have had crossing guards cursed at and almost run over as their direction to traffic falls on ignorant ears. Some have been injured by arrogant, aggressive drivers. Cyclists see themselves as "superpedestrians," running stop signs and nearly hitting pedestrians as they fly through town. Drivers forget that pedestrians have the right of way and casually roll through a stop sign.

We regularly see parents talking on a hand held device while driving to school, and if you say something you are stared at in disbelief, or told what you can do to yourself. First of all it is illegal to do so, and secondly, what signal are they sending to their children about obeying the law? Can we now decide what laws pertain to us and which we can ignore?

If we as a society are so busy that we must speed to every place we go, and are forced to multitask while we drive, then it is time to examine our lifestyles, and consider the stress we cause ourselves and the community. If you're a commuter, try to leave a few minutes earlier in the morning. As parents of school age children, consider their safety first. The Board of Commissioners in September will plan to address the parents associations of the schools in town and speak long and clearly about "careless driving": talking/texting while driving, excessive speed, and treating stop signs as suggestions rather than laws.

We are currently involved in a traffic safety initiative, which will more aggressively address the problems and those who cause them. We will do our part, but we need to be in this together. Port Washington is a great community. We all need to do a better job of looking out for our neighbors, and get them to look out for us as well.

Is there room for improvement? Of course. We can always do better. We welcome all comments and criticism by responsible citizens. We continue to ask the public for ideas, suggestions and "hot spots" where laws are being disregarded. If there are any future questions or comments for the PWPD we will be happy to read them and follow up where necessary. In the meantime, we continually advertise our public meetings, and ask you to attend to voice your opinions and concerns.

We are all in this together. Together we can get it done.

The authors of this post – James Duncan, Dave Franklin andAngela Lawlor-Mullins – serve on the Board of Commissioners of the Port Washington Police District.

NYB July 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Wait, are they too dangerous for cyclists or dangerous because of cyclists...now you're getting me confused.
Dawn Andrew July 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Too dangerous for cyclists not because of cyclists. FYI- I am not a soccer Mom.
Gail July 19, 2012 at 05:43 PM
NYB...you have just proven the point of those who are concerned for safety. No one said that cyclists/runners/walkers shouldn't be allowed to use the roads. It is the dangerous way that some of them do so that is the concern. 3 people who are walking shouldn't be allowed to take up the entire lane on Cow Neck Road and make it impossible for a car to safely drive. A cyclist shouldn't be able to ride in the center of a lane going against traffic risking a head on collision with a car. I will not respond to your name calling. It is unnecessary and counter productive.
Ralph Kessler July 19, 2012 at 06:38 PM
There are many conditions that make driving in the center of a lane -- with traffic, that is -- the only way to safely navigate the road, and, according to state law, it's up to the cyclist to determine those conditions. Usually, it's glass, sand or other debris on the side of the road that makes sharing a lane with autos a safer choice. I'll occasionally see someone riding against traffic, but it's rarely a regular road cyclist. It's usually an uneducated rider and without a helmet, too.
Dave Franklin July 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
The point being made is about all drivers, cyclists and yes, pedestrians who do not obey the law. If you are on a bike, you are operating a vehicle and subject to traffic laws like stop signs, driving with traffic, etc. We should have added something about the pedestrians who walk while texting and/or talking on cells who cross without looking. I see women walking kids in strollers in the streets while texting, oblivious to traffic. Cycling does have health benefits for the riders and for the people in town who are spared the exhaust fumes, but we're talking about the law breakers and not the practice.
jonathan winant July 19, 2012 at 09:45 PM
WAIT UNTIL A RUNNER OR CYCLIST IS KILLED! WAIT UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS INJURED BY SOMEONE WHO RUNS RIGHT THROUGH THE CROSSWALK WHILE ON A CWELL PHONE WITH A DOG ON THEIR LAP. FROM WHAT I SEE EVERY DAY THE ODDS ARE INCREASING
jonathan winant July 19, 2012 at 09:51 PM
NYB: Get the point far too many people who use our roads (regardless how they navigate) do some very sturpid things which endanger ar too many people. I am not singeling out anyone group I feel that there are dangerous, care less people in every group. Driver, walkers, joggers, Bicyclists, Skate boarders, School children (especially at 3:30 school days) Mothers with children, Bus comuters. The point at hand is dangers which do not have to happen and how will we wkae up those who create the dangers
TheGreek July 20, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Those runners and riders are aggressively defending their space and making themselves visable. I'll bet there are no shoulders there. If they kept to the right, and didn't get in your way, you'd blow right past them without slowing down. Maybe even clip them with your mirror. They made you slow down, and pay attention, didn't they. And they're right to do that. They're just trying to stay alive.
TheGreek July 20, 2012 at 04:46 AM
JC, pedestrians ALWAYS get the right of way. Were you sleeping in driver Ed? You can jog in place, but you don't have too. Pedestrians can be just discourteous as drivers, but no mater what, they always get the right of way.
Kevin July 20, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Jay-walking and bike riders are a BIG problem here in Port Washington.
jonathan winant July 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM
To all who have school age children. Last month I wittnessed something every parent of youngsters needs to read. I was walking along Main Street in bettwen Mackey and the movie theaterat approx. 3:30 P. M. when I heard an earth shatering crunch. The street was full of youngsters heading home from school. Laying in the middle of the street was a crushed skate board. The noise was loud enough to bring out employees of the Clearview Theater. One young man was screaming at the driver who destroyed his skateboard and was totally undaunted by the fact that could have might still been on it when it was hit fortunately luck was on his side. The driver never stopped to see what had happned. I had to stop and lecture the youngster about what he might have caused and the fact that the board is replacablle his life is not. I told him to be thankfull the board got away from him without him on it. If he had still been on the board many of the problems we are writting about would have been looked into with great speed. I have lost count of how many times I see young people who are oblivious to the dangers they are creating when using Main Street. Not all skateboarders cause dangers but far too many do. I hope that it does not come down to a fatality to wake up a majority of those who abuse the right to use our roads.
jonathan winant July 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Lets add the youngsters who care more about their cell phones then whether or not they might be hit by a driver. Then there are those youngsters who do not look at traffic signals and cause traffic to come to a dangerously abrupt stop.
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 07:39 PM
There is no need to swerve into oncoming traffic when there is a pedestrian or cyclist sharing the road. Your car has a brake, use it... Slow down and pass carefully when safe to do so. You are not guaranteed the exclusive right to road to speed unimpeded above the speed limit.
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM
This is exactly the problem. Too many Port drivers don't realize that pedestrians have the right of way. Slow down and drive under control. The LIE does not go through Port Washington.
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 07:44 PM
What exactly is your point? The speed limit on most of Port Boulevard is 30 mph. It is not a highway. Slow Down.
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
What's your point Dawn?
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Drivers need to slow down and share the road.
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM
A mother pushing a baby carriage will not kill anyone if she is texting while walking. It is the individuals in their 4 ton minivans speeding and distracted that are the deadly weapons.
Dawn Andrew July 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
@Jonathan. I agree. I am so nervous driving around certain areas after school. I would never want to hit a child nor would I want to injure another driver if I need to swerve to avoid someone on a bike or a skateboard. It would be so nice if we had a facility that could accommodate everyone. Cell phones have really complicated the issue. Too many distractions.
Gail July 20, 2012 at 08:02 PM
My final comment....Respectful discussion, in my opinion, is a good thing. I feel that drivers, cyclists, and runners all have a right to use the roads. However, they ALL must do so safely and be held accountable for any unsafe practices. Those unsafe practices are what this discussion was about, I thought. Neither the drivers, cyclists, nor joggers are exempt from the rules of safety.
Dahlia Omega July 20, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Slow Down then.
Kevin July 20, 2012 at 08:52 PM
@ Gail - You dont get it the discussion is about "the law " and the people of Port Washington who ignore the law and not "rights" can you dig it? In the past week I have seen more police activity in Port Washington than I have in months the officer on a motorcycle is back on Main Street. Last Tuesday at 520am on West Shore Drive I saw a Port Washington Police Officer stop a speeding car near Bar Beach. All over Port Washington Blvd and Shore Road I see police activity finally this inefficient and inept and unpopular police department are doing their job and I hope that the Port Washington Police Department keeps this up.
ricky ricardo July 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM
NYB, It is clear from your comment, "So you're a self-important jerk that believes the road belongs to you to the extent that you stop and berate people walking and cycling on a road that has no shoulder for them to utilize? I'd flip you off too.", that you are one of those drivers who has no regard for anyone else's safety, and how dare others point that out to you.
Nassau Taxpayer July 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Great example and great deterrence value? PWPD parked in "NO STANDING" spot at curb in front of Clearview ("out of an abundance of [copy-cat] caution"), head-down doing "paperwork", completely unaware of lady in BMW making ILLEGAL U-TURN, eastbound to westbound, in front of Beacon Pharmacy.
Kevin July 22, 2012 at 09:23 PM
@ Jonathan Winant -- about 10 years ago a female runner was hit by a hit and run driver on Middlle Neck Road as i understand it the driver was never caught
JC July 22, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Agreed I mispoke my point, pedestrians totally have the right of way and I actually wait when they are in the crosswalk to let them pass at crosswalks in the st. My point is if someone is driving down the road , even at the speed limit 30 mph and you suddenly run across the street or bike across, yes you had technically the right of way but in the long run will that matter when you get hit by the car. I'm with some of the other posters who say both sides need to more aware and careful, pedestrians and drivers. I have to say the way many drive I dont know why anyone would put there faith in someone else, watch out for yourself whether your in the car or walking.
Arguendo July 22, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Happened more recently to a Schreiber HS cross country runner, while running with the team on Middle Neck Road. Hit and run driver was never caught.
Kevin July 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM
@ Arguendo - I had not heard about the recent runner hit on Middle Neck Road in this day of high tech video surveilance, red light cameras, cell phone cameras etc. hard to see how a hit and run driver can get away with this? I hope that the student is OK as I recall the women hit years ago had been permanently injured disabled for life.
Ed Shendell July 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
A problem that I see everywhere is people making right turns as they leave parking lots and at stop signs look left for oncoming traffic and never look right. As a pedestrian and a cyclist, I have almost been hit numerous times. Also, PW Police could do more policing if there were less two-police car conferences parking lots behind businesses in town.
jonathan winant July 26, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Up and down Main Street I see some of the most dangerous drivers I have ever seen on the N. Shore. Stop signs mean FULL stops until your vehicle stops moving! Cross walks are painted there so you do not (suppossedly) enter into the path of a pedestrian when you come to a red light. No stopping zones mean just tha. Tell it to the Judge who will laugh in your face. I wish those who have come close to being accident victims will speak up in this forum as well as anyone injured along Main Street.

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