Disgusting Speed TrapsYour editorial of July 13 should...


August 22, 1993

Disgusting Speed Traps

Your editorial of July 13 should have been labeled "Disgusting Speed Traps," instead of "Disguising Speed Traps." As a member of the National Motorists Association, we are opposed to speed traps because the quick slowdown of traffic hinders the free flow of traffic on Maryland roads.

We also believe that the speed limits should be set to traffic flow, which is between the 85th percentile speed to the 67th percentile speed. Under-posting of speed limits hinders traffic flow and benefits the State Police and local police with increased ticket revenues, and insurance companies with higher insurance premiums.

We also find fault in The Sun's belief that if the speed limits were raised to 65, drivers would be going 85 and 90 miles per hour. From studies by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the highest 85th percentile speeds that determine what most drivers are going have ranged around 70 to 75 mph with the Midwest and the Western states at the high end. In that same report, excessive speeding accounted for only 10 percent of the fatalities on highways that had their speed limits raised. While rural interstate fatalities have increased because of volume, non-interstate fatalities in states that have raised speed limits have decreased.

The Sun should get off its fixation that "speed kills," and promote the use of funds in rebuilding the state highway system rather than spending money for non-highway projects such as light rail or purchasing of historic properties in the name of transportation enhancement. If that was done, maybe Maryland would be a safer place to drive.

Robert L. Hickerson III


Easy Money

When I read about another bank robbery, I am not surprised. Banks make it entirely too easy to rob.

When we lived on Long Island, N.Y., our bank shielded the tellers from the public with a heavy clear plastic wall. Only a slot at desk level allowed papers to be slid through. The teller could not be threatened with a gun nor could the robber jump over the counter. From what I read, all a robber need do is give a teller a threatening note and money is immediately handed over. How easy.

Homeowners are told to make it difficult for a thief and he will go elsewhere. Why don't banks follow the same philosophy?

Andy Gardner


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