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