Obey Speed LawsWilliam I. Weston (letter, Jan. 2) who did...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 13, 1994

Obey Speed Laws

William I. Weston (letter, Jan. 2) who did not get a ticket, argues that speed limits are unnecessary and should not be enforced. I, who did get a speeding ticket, disagree.

To have laws which are not enforced creates a public attitude of disrespect for law, and this contributes to the decay of society.

If the speed limits are unnecessary or unwise, then they should be changed rather than ignored. Perhaps Mr. Weston could suggest how to change the speed laws in a way which would meet with the approval of the majority of the law-abiding citizens.

He argues that the attention police devote to enforcing speed limits diverts their attention from the more serious problem of violent crime.

I suggest that we determine the threat to society from these sources and allocate the police effort proportionately.

What percent of the deaths, injuries and financial losses result from violent crime, and what percent from speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs? Do the differences in these percents differ importantly by region?

Mr. Weston does point out a serious indirect consequence of a speeding ticket, the "horrendous insurance consequences."

The fine I will pay the state for my ticket is a drop in the bucket compared to the very extreme penalty my insurance company will levy (three points will cost me over $300 a year for three years).

I think the insurance industry is ripping off the public. If I have to pay such a large penalty for my speeding ticket, I would much rather pay a large portion of it (the amount that exceeds a fair insurance premium) into a state fund dedicated to hiring more police officers to deal with violent crime.

Can the insurance commissioner find a way to do this?

P. David Wilson

Towson

Offended Christian

Comcast Cablevision's program guide, Total, for Jan. 8-14 carried a profile of John Ritter. Surely I am not the only Christian to be offended by the title: "The Gospel According to John."

Robert C. Tompkins

Towson

Korean Adoptions

Of all my days filled with a half century of wonderful events, I count Sept. 12, 1984 as the best and happiest day of my life. For it was on this day my daughter Susan arrived from South Korea.

My wife and I tried for years to have a child and were unable. We then went to Holt Children's Services for help to complete the family we longed for.

It was a very difficult process that emphasized the welfare of the child above all else.

We know many families who have been brought together this way and I believe each would agree: These children are loved and valued without restraint.

It is, therefore, unconscionable for South Korea to consider ending overseas adoption for "national pride" (The Sun, Dec. 26).

These, and all adoptions, must proceed solely upon the premise of what is best for the children. To disallow adoption by loving families for such reasons as national pride or preserving racial heritage is unforgivable.

I hope South Korea and such "interested agencies" will realize this.

K. Gary Ambridge

Bel Air

Don't Be Naive

Michael Gimbel's letter (Dec. 28) provides his argument against a needle exchange program for Baltimore City.

Although I certainly respect Mr. Gimbel's right to his opinion, I speak with the passion of a woman who has met intravenous drug users who have sought treatment in Baltimore City. While we count beans, philosophize and pontificate on measures we suppose will reduce drug addiction, crime, the spread of AIDS, teen-age pregnancy and other issues that face urban communities throughout the country, these social ills continue to plague our community.

It is very sad that we continue to take idealistic, impractical and naive approaches to reducing substance abuse and crime in our communities. Yes, treatment is certainly the best approach if we have the dollars to support treatment, which is both accessible and culture specific. In fact, we have far too many people who are substance abusers waiting to get into treatment programs. We have far too many people being victimized by those in the drug culture who prey on others to pay for their drugs or to control their drug dealing territory.

When are we going to stop pushing these naive approaches which tell people to ''just say no''? When will we stop hoping that the answers to the drug problem lie in neat, pat or ''rose colored'' approaches. Random, senseless violence coupled with the waste of human potential, demand radical and often risky approaches to curtail drug usage or at the very least, render harmless the cravings of an addicted person.

When are we going to recognize that the war on drugs is lost and focus our efforts on public health approaches which are progressive and innovative and which seek to protect the public?

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