Sen. Foley's Legislation to Allow Suffolk Police to Continue Highway Patrols

Brian X. Foley

May 26, 2009

Surcharge on traffic violators will generate revenue necessary to put SCPD back on the L.I.E and Sunrise Highway

HAPPAUGE, NY – As Summer unofficially kicks-off following Memorial Day weekend and more and more drivers take to the roads, Senator Brian X. Foley’s legislation will allow Suffolk County police officers to go back to patrolling the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway. The measure will increase safety on Long Island’s highways by taking on moving violations including speeding, DWI’s, etc.

Foley’s bill (S4909) establishes a mandatory $50 surcharge on law breakers who commit traffic offenses in Suffolk and Nassau counties. The money will go towards a Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway Patrol Fund to be administered by the state comptroller for the express purpose of funding highway patrols on Long Island. The measure is expected to generate approximate $14.6 million ($6.7 million in Suffolk and $7.9 million in Nassau).

“While we’re all indebted to the Deputy Sheriffs who are currently patrol Suffolk County’s highways, we need Suffolk County police officers to be back patrolling the L.I.E and Sunrise Highway,” said Senator Brian X. Foley (D- Blue Point). “With summer starting and more people on the highways, it’s crucial we take all steps necessary to enhance public safety.”

“I thank Senator Foley for introducing legislation that would authorize Suffolk County to impose a $50 surcharge on drivers convicted of moving violations,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay. “This surcharge would deter drivers from recklessly endangering themselves or others by speeding or driving unsafely. Suffolk County unfortunately has very dangerous roads, so we must do anything we can do to make our roads safer.

“We support Senator Foley’s legislation as it increases safety on Long Island’s highways,” said Jeff Frayler, President of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association (PBA).

As a recently published Newsday article (“Suffolk Drop Fuels Debate on Safety,” May 26, 2009) points out, the number of traffic summons issued have dramatically decreased since Suffolk County police officers have been off the highways. The same article refers to an independent study that demonstrates a direct correlation between the amount of cops patrolling and the overall safety of roadways.

“The Deputy Sheriffs on the L.I.E and Sunrise Highway have done an outstanding job with the resources they’re given,” said Foley. “But the truth is, we need to dedicate more resources to highway safety in Suffolk County and this legislation does just that.”

The legislation is sponsored in the Assembly (A7064) by Assemblywoman Ginny Fields.

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