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Speed cameras can save lives | READER COMMENTARY

Early in the pandemic, the Jones Falls Expressway saw a big drop in traffic. In recent weeks, it's rebounded to its old ways. March 28, 2020. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
Early in the pandemic, the Jones Falls Expressway saw a big drop in traffic. In recent weeks, it's rebounded to its old ways. March 28, 2020. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun) (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)

Kudos to Dan Rodricks for promoting the use of speed cameras on the Jones Falls Expressway (“Speed cameras on JFX should be just the beginning,” July 21). Speeding is a major contributor to the nearly 40,000 deaths annually on U.S. highways. High speed is a double whammy: it increases not only the chance of a crash but also the chance of death or serious injury when a crash occurs.

A review of 28 research studies of the effect of speed cameras on crashes revealed reductions of 17% to 58% in fatal and serious injury crashes; most reductions were of 30% to 40%.

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Cameras are especially valuable on highways such as the JFX, where interruptions in the flow of traffic when police stop a speeder may actually increase the danger to other motorists. A ticket documenting the infraction, mailed to the driver who apparently valued his time over the lives of other road users, is a safe way to make our highways less hazardous.

Susan P. Baker, Baltimore

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The writer is founding director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

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