top of page




Deadly driving on Long Island roads demands action

The scene of the fatal crash on the Southern State Parkway that killed Richard Riggs of Holbrook. Credit: Howard Simmons

By The Editorial Board March 10, 2022 6:57 PM - Newsday

By racing in traffic, speeding through tight spaces between moving cars, tailgating, weaving, and forcing close calls just for fun, the most reckless of motorists on Long Island roads intentionally menace the rest of us, it seems, nearly every day.

This lethal hazard is getting old.

In the extreme games of these terror-mongers on wheels, other drivers and their vehicles are just props and hurdles. In some of the video clips proudly posted online, their hyena whoops are audible.

Either due to insufficient urgency, or the lack of the right plan, authorities have made slow if any progress toward deterring or punishing this type of disaster.

Please remember Richard Riggs, 75, of Holbrook, who died nearly eight months ago in a fatal collision induced by a race between a stolen Range Rover and a Jeep that sped in and out of traffic lanes on the Southern State Parkway. An investigation by the Suffolk district attorney’s office reportedly remains active. Arrests have yet to be made.

Some justice in this case would at least set a public example. But police cannot be posted every quarter-mile day and night — which gives the miscreants an edge — so technology and effective surveillance will be key to an overdue crackdown.

State Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford) has been collaborating with state police officials in an effort to generate progress. They've discussed purchasing and using technology, both stationary and mobile, that can record license plates of these highway psychos, identify them, and allow them to be nabbed.

Of course — and this is not a new problem, either — those dodging all manner of vehicle laws make use of thin plastic transparent license plate covers meant to sabotage visibility by electronic devices. That illegal practice requires a new crackdown of its own and harsh fines and penalties, well beyond what's now imposed, which should help fund maintaining the equipment.

Brooks looks to access state grant money that can essentially create a pilot program for reading plates as needed. He should pursue that quickly, and a wider focus will still be needed from state and local governments.

Video cameras for years have been posted on many roads to spot accidents, locate snarls and project travel times. But the legislative agreement authorizing the cameras barred recordings for use in these probes.

Last summer, after the horrific death of Riggs, and of five other people in Quogue in a high-speed head-on collision, lawmakers asked the state Department of Transportation to change that rule and keep such footage. But on Thursday, a spokesman was still saying: "NYSDOT will review any proposed legislation on the matter."

On that front, the needle hasn't moved since last summer. As Long Island's law enforcement challenges go, this demands way more priority. Innocent lives are at stake.

4 views0 comments

  • Resources for Riders

  • Advice from Riders

  • New York City Motorcycle Advisory Council

Resources for Riders

Street safety tips for motorcyclists

New York State Motorcycle Safety Program

NYS DMV motorcycle license information


Jul 14, 2021

Audio described version of this video available:

For New York State Motorcycle Safety information please visit the following link:

New York City Motorcycle Advisory Council

The New York City Motorcycle Advisory Council is a diverse group of committed motorcyclists. The council convenes regularly with NYC DOT to discuss a variety of matters related to safety and sustainable mode use in New York City. The council advocates for policies that support motorcycling, not only as a hobby of passion, but also as a legitimate form of transportation.

Above all, members support educational opportunities and efficient pathways to legality for all motorcycle riders. Working with NYC DOT and other Vision Zero partners, the members raise awareness of motorcycle safety to the driving and riding public at large.

For more information about the New York City Motorcycle Advisory Council, please contact the NYC DOT Office of Safety Education and Outreach at

11 views0 comments


Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,142 lives in 2019. NHTSA leads the national effort to save lives by preventing this dangerous behavior. Get the facts, get involved, and help us keep America’s roads safe.

The Issue What Is Distracted Driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. The Issue Consequences TRAFFIC SAFETY FACTS & DATA PUBLICATIONS

Driver Distraction & Electronic Device Use Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. The Issue Get Involved Teens Teens can be the best messengers with their peers, so we encourage them to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted, to have their friends sign a pledge to never drive distracted, to become involved in their local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter, and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.

Parents Parents first have to lead by example — by never driving distracted — as well as have a talk with their young driver about distraction and all of the responsibilities that come with driving. Have everyone in the family sign the pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remind your teen driver that in states with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended license.

Educators and Employers Educators and employers can play a part, too. Spread the word at your school or workplace about the dangers of distracted driving. Ask your students to commit to distraction-free driving or set a company policy on distracted driving.

Make Your Voice Heard If you feel strongly about distracted driving, be a voice in your community by supporting local laws, speaking out at community meetings, and highlighting the dangers of distracted driving on social media and in your local op-ed pages.

NHTSA In Action NHTSA is dedicated to eliminating risky behaviors on our nation's roads NHTSA is dedicated to eliminating risky behaviors on our nation's roads

NHTSA leads the fight nationally against distracted driving by educating Americans about its dangers and partnering with the states and local police to enforce laws against distracted driving that help keep us safe.

NHTSA’s campaigns and public service announcements make the case to Americans that safe driving means driving without distractions. You’ve likely seen or heard our public service announcements, but we’re also on Facebook and Twitter sharing stories and tips to help save lives. The foundation of NHTSA’s efforts on distracted driving and other risky driving behaviors is our partnership with the states and local police. The states determine laws affecting distracted driving, but NHTSA provides federal investments in the locally driven strategies that address the states’ specific needs. One of the highlights of this relationship comes during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which pairs a national advertising campaign with a law enforcement crackdown called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. The Law Your state legislature and governor make the laws regarding distracted driving. Many states now have laws against texting, talking on a cell phone, and other distractions while driving. You can visit the Governors Highway Safety Association to learn about the laws in your state.

3 views0 comments
bottom of page