Suffolk County Legislator Tom Barraga wants to make Higbie Lane and Udall Road in West Islip safer travel routes and has asked local police to step up enforcement of everything from speeding to dangerous maneuvers and illegal turns.
The request was borne from residents’ concerns who live in the area and who are worried that sooner or later someone will be killed by the illegal driving activity and disregard for state driving laws, said Barraga.
In an email to Patch Barraga cites several dangerous examples, such as breaking the speed limit on Udall Road both ways from Sunrise Highway to the fork of Udall Road and Higbie Lane; illegally riding the center lane on Higbie from Lions Path to Union Boulevard and then making a left on to Union or jumping back into the main lane going north, illegal turns from the gas station on Udall Road (west side) and illegal u-turns by customers leaving the bagel store on Udall.
Then there are the illegal u-turns by customers leaving the cleaners just south of the railroad tracks.
“There are drivers not stopping at the cross path in front of the bagel store when residents are walking in the cross path and illegal turns in and out of the Best Food Market on Udall Road,” said Barraga. “The entire strip is a mess and intensive police coverage will continue,” he told Patch.
As part of the patrol request Barraga asked the Third Precinct for a list of traffic and driving citations issued between January 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013.
The top ticket getters on Higbie were failure to stop (38 tickets issued), equipment violations (28 citations), use of a mobile phone while driving (22 tickets) and five speeding tickets issued in the time frame. A driver was issued a ticket for driving left in a no-passing zone and two drivers were cited for passing violations.
On Udall, 26 speeding tickets were issued, 25 citations were written for failure to stop, 24 tickets were written for equipment violations and just one ticket for using a phone while driving. One ticket was issued for driving in the wrong direction as well as one citation for throwing refuse out of a car window.
Both roadways have similar numbers when it came to vehicle infractions. There were 17 and 19 insurance violations for Higbie and Udall, respectively, and 21 and 23 no inspection certificate tickets issued.
“This stretch of road for many seems to be the equivalent of the Wild West for drivers who completely disregard New York state driving laws,” stated Barraga in a press release regarding the list of issued tickets.“Intensive Marshal Dillion police coverage of this area will continue so obey the traffic laws or suffer the consequences. West Islip is not Gunsmoke,” he stated.