Does this sound familiar: You’re driving on a road, going a little faster than the posted speed limit signs allow. Then, coming the other way, a car’s headlights flash a few times. Did it just hit a bump, or is that driver trying to tell you something? Or, someone ahead suddenly hits the brakes, with no signs of traffic in the distance. Did they spill coffee on their lap, or is there something up ahead that warrants slowing down? You start glancing around, squinting: Is there a cop hiding behind some trees or a highway divider? Probably not, but as luck often has it, the one time you don’t ease off the accelerator is the one time a Crown Victoria and a radar gun are waiting.
Here are some of LI’s most notorious speed traps. You’re welcome.
Ocean Parkway, Jones Beach, half-mile before and after the water tower
The Ocean Parkway’s speed limit is 55, the standard on LI’s numerous highways. But for a small portion, the speed limit is only 35. Does anyone go 35? What do you think? No one goes 35. And if you try to, you’ll probably die, because everyone else is more than doubling that, going 80. Everyone except the police; they will still pull you over for going even 45.
Indian Head Road, Going North Towards Kings Park, by the Commack Ice Rink
Those signs for hidden driveways aren’t just hiding long stretches of asphalt: A cop stays in the woods up one of the long dirt stretches. The speed limit drops by 20 mph for about a quarter of a mile where the road goes down to one lane. You’ll probably die here too if you slow down. But the cop didn’t really care when one of our staff writers (who may or may not write the green column) told him that.
Exit 14W, Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway/Route 135 (Jericho Turnpike, west, end of highway)
Buckle up, not because it gets particularly bumpy over here, but because Nassau County’s finest are frequently parked, checking registrations, inspections and seat belts.
Seamans Neck Road, North Seaford (North of Jerusalem Avenue)
Mix equal parts 30-mph area and school zone and you’ve got a nice cop cocktail. Naturally, people love to speed down the street, so police will hide on the side streets. It doesn’t matter if you’re going 31 mph—you’ll probably be pulled over. Going south, there is a handful of stop signs where cops love to bag anyone who rolls through them.
Exit 13, Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway/Route 135 (495, going west)
About once or twice a month, motorists can expect to pass two Nassau County police cars hidden behind the brush, tucked alongside the curve of Exit 13 on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, the Westbound exit for the Long Island Expressway. Unless you know about the trap, you won’t see the officers, especially in the summer when the masking trees have a full canopy of leaves. Drivers make the windy turn to discover police officers standing on the side of the road, checking inspections and registrations and pulling violators over, right there. They won’t even make it onto the LIE.
Vanderbilt Parkway, near Commack Middle School (going east)
The long, steep hill that curves around Commack Middle School is a favorite spot for cops to hang out. The parking lot they catch speeders in is completely invisible, masked by the hill and numerous trees, until it’s too late.
Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway/Route 135, North and South of Wooden Median
On the south side and north side of the wooded median on Route 135 just north of the rail road trestle. Police often can be seen waiting for speeders at either side of this median, which provides convenient natural cover as drivers don’t see the patrol car until it’s too late to hit the brakes.