The news has been filled with stories of the ‘dangerous’ Long Island Expressway, but state highway statistics show the Southern State Parkway is even worse. Because the area is one of the most populous in the nation with an ever growing number of out-of-state visitors, it creates the perfect environment for a deadly stretch of road.
To counter this the New York Department of Transportation is proposing police focus on two main areas: speeding drivers and impaired drivers. The most recent state DOT data shows that in the past four years 34 people have died on the that part of the roadway, and in all the crashes speed was a determining factor, sometimes coupled with the driver being impaired.
Among the things being considered to remind drivers to slow down are digital speed display signs. These signs are posted at the roadside and use automatic radar to display, in big bright numbers, the speed of drivers passing by. Around the country, in areas where these devices have been used, drivers have responded by slowing down automatically, regardless of whether or not a police officer was present. This makes them a welcome deterrent against speeders.
Already New York State has a very aggressive drunk driving public awareness campaign. Police there have shown zero-tolerance when it comes to drunk drivers, and have little idea what else they can do to keep drivers from getting behind the wheel when they are drunk.
New York DOT knows if they can maintain the drunk driver crack down, and get drivers on the Southern State Parkway to slow down, they might just reverse the trend of deaths in that part of state, or at least keep it from getting any worse.