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There are many inaccuracies in letter writer D. Keith Henderson's argument against raising the speed limit to 70 mph in Maryland ("Pick up the pace of Md.'s absurdly low speed limits," Feb. 27).

One measures miles per gallon by overall miles driven under city and highway conditions. For example, driving only on the highway may result in drivers getting 32 mph while city driving can drop that to 20 mpg.

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That's why cars are rated for a combination of highway and city driving. Of course, at any speed if you only drive on the highway your mpg will be higher than a combination of city and highway driving.

Moreover, studies have shown that going a steady 50 mph gives you the best gas millage, while anything over that decreases the mpg. And though improvements in car safety may result in less severe injuries, they don't eliminate the serious and fatal injuries caused by higher speeds.

Another point is that cars in the 1960s had disc brakes and seat belts, and many cars in the 1970s only got 17 mpg overall. In my experience on the highways, I have never seen cars in the left lane obeying the speed limit; rather, they were routinely going 10 to 15 mph over the posted limit.

The state's traffic laws must take into account the safety of all motorists, especially those who are not particularly responsible drivers.

Albert Sherman, Baltimore

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