The Good and Bad of Traffic Enforcement
Anyone traveling around Montgomery County cannot fail to notice that the county government has declared a street war on its citizens. The amazing proliferation of cameras and other electronic entrapment devices, at a cost of millions of dollars, has rendered our county roads and streets much less -- not more -- safe.
The positioning of many of these gadgets on a downhill slope immediately following a reduced speed sign is clearly intended to be a "gotcha" perpetrated on anxious drivers. It is a rather sleazy, underhanded way of raising revenue without having to get citizens' approval. The result of these tactics is a dramatic increase in road risks as frightened, intimidated drivers focus on spotting these traps and the various signs that go with them rather than paying attention to traffic and avoiding hitting pedestrians.
The one exception to this malfeasance by the authorities are cameras to catch red-light runners. Those are useful and should stay. All the other traps do not make a positive contribution to road safety and should be removed.
-- Fred D. Ross, Potomac
Traffic cameras are annoying, but they work. Although I consider myself a careful and law-abiding driver, I have gotten several of the $40 letters from the police. I may not be able to face my accuser, but there's little doubt that I am the speeder, and I usually remember the moment when I saw the cameras flash.
I know a few sections of road where drivers have exceeded the posted speed limit regularly and in spite of pleas, reminders and police radar checks. Now, however, with the installation of speed cameras, traffic slows to the correct speed, not just right at the cameras but along the entire stretch of road. It's clear to me that I can avoid the expensive letters by obeying speed limits and stopping correctly at traffic lights.
In addition, we were all taught by our driving instructors that we don't enter an intersection or drive onto a railroad track unless we can see clearly that there is room for our car on the other side. If everyone did this, intersections would not be filled when the light changes, and many fewer cars would be hit by trains. Since we are all in favor of people improving their driving habits, these are good starts for each of us, and we should stop blaming the enforcer.
-- Carolyn Finegar, Gaithersburg
The Most Hostile Place for Cars
Regarding the May 22 front-page article "That Street Sweeper May Soon Give You a Ticket":
After a year of paying two $100 rush-hour tickets and enormous gasoline bills from sitting in downtown gridlock, I sold my car in 2006. Plainly and simply, Washington is hostile to drivers.
If you own a car, the District will find a way to tax, ticket or tow you. From street cameras in areas that don't have clear speed limit postings, to a host of meter maids who literally sit in wait at 7 a.m. on corners, to parking garages that cost upward of $50 a day, to gas stations with inflated prices, to insane inspection standards and fees, this city is the most unfriendly place I've ever lived as a driver.
Nowadays, I own a bike, a SmarTrip card and a Zipcar membership. I'm sure someday the D.C. Council will figure out how to tax my bike, Metro and shared car. By then I'll have moved to the suburbs so I can raise a family amid better schools, bigger parks, more amenities and better roads, which all our ticket dollars are supposed to be providing for us here in Washington.
-- Jamie Rose, Washington
Posted by: tsakell | May 27, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: PotomacSecretAgent | May 27, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DontGetIt | May 28, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: NoDonkey | May 28, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 29, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jacaul | May 29, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 3plantes | June 4, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.