Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion Readers Respond

Speed cameras make us safer

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

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Get a move on: Local speed limits are too low [Letter]
    Get a move on: Local speed limits are too low [Letter]

    Congratulations to Howard County for trying to figure out sensible speed limits ("Are Howard County's speed limits too low?" Aug. 5).

  • Safety or revenue?
    Safety or revenue?

    Before it was shut down over reports of widespread errors, Baltimore ran by far the largest speed camera program in the state and one of the largest in the nation. It generated a lot of tickets and a lot of revenue for the city — so much so that officials were fighting over what to do...

  • Annapolis and speed cameras
    Annapolis and speed cameras

    Isn't it amazing how the courts have found that speed cameras are a safety feature and not an un-mandated nuisance tax, yet The Sun finds the news in the loss of revenue instead of the great job they are doing in slowing down traffic and clogging up the streets of Annapolis with bumper to...

  • Smaller is better
    Smaller is better

    A Baltimore City Council investigative committee looking into the city's problem-plagued speed- and red light-camera program has discovered what should have been obvious all along: That the now suspended system was far too big to be managed efficiently, that it was set up too quickly by the...

  • Cameras and corruption
    Cameras and corruption

    I have followed The Sun's investigation of Baltimore's speed and red light cameras from the beginning and believe a desire for a back door tax is what is driving Baltimore's concern and not protecting the poor innocent school children they claim when defending the constitutionality of such laws...

  • Speed cameras didn't make streets any safer
    Speed cameras didn't make streets any safer

    I enjoyed your recent article on the statistics regarding pedestrian accidents during and after the use of speed cameras ("Even with speed cameras off, no pedestrians injured in school zones," Dec. 19).

  • The surreal comedy of Baltimore's speed cameras [Letter]
    The surreal comedy of Baltimore's speed cameras [Letter]

    I really wish I was in the speed camera consulting business in Baltimore right now, as I could make a killing ("City takes step toward new speed camera program Feb. 5). Why is this whole speed camera debacle turning into such a surreal comedy? One answer might be that there is such a total...

  • City speed camera saga gets stranger by the day [Letter]
    City speed camera saga gets stranger by the day [Letter]

    A national firm is not qualified to complete a simple engineering study of the city's speed cameras ("Mayor says audit firm was 'not sufficiently qualified,'" Jan. 29).