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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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New Law: Crash Sites Must Be Cleaned


On an unusually temperate November 2 afternoon, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) gathered with legislative Majority Leader Nick Caracappa (C-Selden) and Legislators Bontempi (R-Centerport) and Dominick Thorne (R-Patchogue) at the H. Lee Dennison Building to sign a new bill. This bill requires truck drivers to clean up debris from crash sites.

The bill was sponsored by Legislator Caracappa and passed unanimously as it is “a common sense” measure, according to the legislator.

“We’re here today to sign into law resolution number 674 that will require that all tow truck drivers clean up all debris from motor vehicle accidents and crash sites to ensure that our roadways remain safe and to ensure, more importantly, that that debris does not lead to other accidents,” said Bellone. He also noted “29,000 accidents so far this year” if the debris is not handled, it can “lead to more accidents.”

“This is a commonsense bill, this is about safety, this is about quality of life,” said Caracappa, while noting the dangers posed to tourists and residents alike. Caracappa also stressed the dangers posed by secondary accidents to more than just motorists, such as cyclists and pedestrians.

“Most people, when they heard about the bill, they responded the same way, ‘I thought that was already done,’” noted Caracappa. “Now, it’s enforceable.”

Thorne could confirm that debris often caused secondary accidents “as someone that was on the front lines for over 25 years in the pre-hospital environment” while also stressing the environmental effects of the refuse.

Senator Mario Mattera, Bontempi and Alan Deering, owner of Elite Towing, were all under the assumption that this was already the law, with the latter’s admission garnering a few laughs from the crowd.

According to Caracappa, the bill was made with input and the support of Suffolk AME, the department of public works and the Suffolk County Police department, with consultation from the private sector – many already operating by the new law.

Action on this issue won’t stop in Suffolk County.

Mattera mentioned that he would bring a version of the bill to Albany. Long Island American Bikers for Awareness (ABATE) First Vice President Nick LaMort stated that “we (ABATE) did bring copies of the resolution [to Iowa]” on a previous ride – showing another example of how Suffolk County has led the nation policy-wise.

Brian R. Monahan
Brian R. Monahan
News Editor for The Messenger Papers.