|The ferry traffic opposition does not only ask -- how many is too many?
-- but also -- How is ferry traffic different from all other traffic? Driving
with or against ferry traffic changes the nature of travelling on the North
Fork. If your driving habits do not conflict with ferry traffic you are
lucky. The impact of the volume of ferry traffic is aggravated by being
concentrated and uniformly directed out of town. To the extent that ferry
traffic is local, it is not a problem. To the extent that ferry traffic
defenders oppose any limit on ferry traffic, they are either ignorant or
do not care about the quality of life on the North Fork.
On the other hand, there are also non ferry related traffic issues. For example, Why do school buses have to stop at every kid's house? Why can't we limit school bussing to main roads and neighborhood school bus stops? Limo school busing not only wastes gas, results in more air polution, and increases school budgets, it is unpleasant and a waste of time for the kids who are stuck riding on buses for much longer than necessary.
Local government initiatives to decrease traffic jams and increase traffic safety should focus on the factors which most often cause traffic jams, crashes and injuries: speeding and losing control, driving while fatigued or after drinking alcohol, driving while distracted by talking on a cellphone, failure to use lights on rainy and cloudy days, underage drinking and not wearing seatbelts. Hopefully, Southold Town police will play a role in studying traffic problems in Southold Town. Seat belts greatly reduce the chances that a front-seat passenger will be injured or killed in a car crash. Every driver must learn to think of the seatbelt as the best "life insurance" available. Research shows that once people develop the 2-to-3-second habit of buckling seat belts, they usually keep it for life.
National statistics show that car wrecks kill more people than AIDS, drugs, or gun violence. Traffic jams and crashes happen with such regularity that people have grown numb to the overall consequences and costs. When it comes to changing the behaviors that cause traffic jams and deaths, one of the biggest challenges is a culture of widespread acceptance of the inevitability of traffic jams and "accidents". While accidents are not intentional, they are also not inevitable. With awareness and care most traffic problems are preventable.