9:30 AM EST, December 16, 2011
Jay Hancock's screed ("Welcome to Md., becoming known as the 'Speed Trap State,'" Dec. 13) about speed cameras on Maryland's highways reads as an apology for speeding (which endangers other drivers, workers, children, and animals such as deer) with the implication that it is good for business.
The Connecticut businessman he defends, who claims to go no more than five miles over the limit in his home state, was clocked going 12 (significant because he would need approximately another 25-35 feet to stop) miles per hour over the limit in a state where he now angrily says he won't expand his business (Rita's Italian ice and frozen custard stores). Maybe that's a good thing if he encourages his employees and executives to speed. Mr. Hancock tries and fails to make the case that speeding is good for business because otherwise our "small" state will be regarded like a "shabby rural town."
I have been praying for speed cameras on the stretch of the Jones Falls Expressway that I regularly travel — between North Avenue and Ruxton Road and sometimes on to the Beltway. I have been tailgated so close that I can't even see the headlights of the SUV or car behind me. I've seen tow trucks with cars on them going over 70 in the far left lane as I near my exit and dump trucks spewing trash as they speed past. I've seen tour buses going well over 60 as they head south past North Avenue. I've often seen two cars or trucks tailgating and weaving in and out of lanes without signals — apparently in a race with each other — that actually disappear from sight within 40 or 50 seconds. Where are these speed cameras when we need them?
Me? I go 55 in the 55 mph area, and I go 50 when it says 50, and on the thousands of times I've driven on Interstate 83 I have never gone above the speed limit. Why should I? Should I endanger myself and others to get somewhere a minute sooner?
Mr. Hancock says without apology that he himself "got caught going 43 in a 30 mph school zone" requiring an approximate 15 to 25 extra feet to stop and then states, as if the word "accidents" has no bearing, that "Studies have shown [speed cameras] reduce accidents." So what's the problem, Mr. Hancock?
Linda C. Franklin, Baltimore
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