Suffolk County Legislator Thomas F. Barraga (R-West Islip) didn’t exactly say people in Suffolk County should be couch potatoes. He just doesn’t believe people should be running outdoors or riding a bicycle or motorcycle because “Suffolk County is a suburban automobile community”.
Why? Because people like Sandy Cutrone get injured by drivers who must have a superior right to be on the road. I guess if Legis. Barraga gets his way, he might try to enact a law providing Suffolk drivers a superior right to be on the road over bicycles and motorcycles. Fortunately, the N.Y.S. Vehicle and Traffic Law says otherwise.
Sandy Cutrone started riding her bicycle for exercise and in charitable events. Last September, while riding her bicycle in a lawful manner and wearing a helmet, she was struck and injured by a car making a left turn.
According to Sandy Cutrone’s son, Matthew, the driver claimed said he just didn’t see her. So Matthew Cutrone wrote a letter to Legis. Barraga asking for bike lanes “or maybe even just some warning signs” so that drivers know when to be careful of bicyclists.
Legis. Barraga’s brilliance became apparent when he wrote back, “My personal feeling is that no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter in Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle or motorcycle.” The reason? Because “drivers expect to see other drivers on the road, not bicyclists and motorcyclists.”
There are several laws which say drivers are required to see bicyclists and motorcyclists. In Sandy Cutrone’s accident the driver, who made a left turn when he struck her, violated section 1141 and several other sections of the N.Y.S. Vehicle and Traffic Law. She is entitled to Summary Judgment on liability which means that that the driver is 100% at fault.
I often say never under estimate the stupidity of your adversary but stupidity is everywhere. Keep it out of public office. Every runner, bicyclist and motorcyclist should make sure not to vote for Legislator Thomas F. Barraga (R-West Islip) in the next election.