Hauppauge, NY- Legislator Nick Caracappa’s bill to improve road safety at accident scenes was signed into law by County Executive Steve Bellone on November 2nd. This much needed bill to make our county roads safer and cleaner for all Suffolk County residents, was introduced by Caracappa to the Suffolk County Legislature back in September and was unanimously voted in favor of by all eighteen legislators. This necessary local law stating that tow truck operators called to the scene of an accident or disablement shall clean up any debris in the surrounding area resulting from the vehicle(s) they are towing to the satisfaction of the police officer or authorized representative on the scene. This includes cleaning up any oil, coolant, or gas that the vehicle(s) involved spilled on the road. Also, the tow truck operators will now be required to carry a liquid absorbing substance, shovel, broom, and a container to collect debris.
Legislator Caracappa stated, “This bill also addresses the cleanup of traffic control materials such as flares, caution tape and any other objects foreign to the normal roadway and identifies the responsible parties for doing so.” “Remaining accident debris on our roadways becomes a dangerous hazard for motor vehicles and even more so for motorcycles.”
“Roadway safety is so much more than paving potholes.” Added Legislator Caracappa. “For motorcycle riders especially, debris on the roads can be so much more severe, even life threatening.”
Those that attended the bill signing were, Michael R. Romagnoli, SCPD Chief of Patrol, Alan Dering, President of Elite Towing, William Savino East Zone Leader of Allstate Roadside, and Jim Barr, Nick LaMorte, and Margaret Nicosia from Long Island ABATE, as well as elected officials, Legislator Dominick Thorne, Legislator Stephanie Bontempi, and Senator Mario Mattera.
Senator Mattera who was on hand, pledged to take the bill to Albany. “I thought this was already a law, finding out it was contractual language was surprising to me, I will be proud to take this bill to Albany with me to ensure our roadways are safer for all New Yorkers,” stated Senator Mattera.
Clean-up standards are needed to ensure public and vehicle safety is maintained and to ensure that accident and disablement scenes are left free of debris. The ultimate goal is to prevent any further traffic congestion and accidents from happening.