Missed PointThe Sun has missed the mark completely in...


January 27, 1995

Missed Point

The Sun has missed the mark completely in opposing efforts to raise the speed limit on rural interstate highways to 65 miles per hour. There is not one shred of credible evidence that traffic fatalities have increased on those stretches of highway where other states have lifted the limit.

I personally have driven thousands of miles on the interstate system, and it is my firm conviction that the prevailing average speeds there are not significantly faster than in Maryland.

Traffic flow is smoother and long-distance drivers, with fewer irritations to concern them, finish their journeys quicker, happier and in a more relaxed mood.

Speed, of itself, has never been a principal cause of auto accidents. True, higher speeds reduce reaction time and produce more severe injuries when accidents occur, but the main culprit is -- and always has been -- misjudgment.

Errors in judgment can be traced to many things, including inattention, intoxication and just plain inexperience. When speed a factor in a serious accident, it usually is because the speed is excessive no matter what the limit is.

Police attention would be better focused on these shortcomings rather than on the waste of resources involved in nabbing motorists who may exceed a posted speed limit but who otherwise exercise good judgment.

In my opinion, it is presumptuous and arrogant for a governor who never drives long distances to call the shots for those of us who do.

And the insurance companies which pressure him exhibit the same mindless, knee-jerk reactions that the National Rifle Association does to any form of gun control.

Let's have the game rules made by and for those who do the long distance driving, not by those who don't play the game. Hurrah for Gov. Parris Glendening for recognizing this point.

George W. Donadoni

Glen Burnie

Hunter Safety

I read an article in the paper this past fall of a turkey hunter who was killed while hunting on Dan's Mountain in Allegany County.

Unfortunately, this hunter was hunting by himself. From the account of the incident, it appears that a half-ton slab of rock fell on him while he was climbing the mountain before dawn.

He was pinned underneath this rock until two other hunters found him at noon -- at which time he was already dead.

The only reason they discovered the body is because they saw his orange vest. The evidence seemed to suggest that he may have fired three distress shots trying to alert someone to his plea for help.

I have been hunting for more than 40 years, and I must admit that if I heard three shots in the woods during hunting season, I probably would not pay any attention to them.

Therefore, I feel strongly that another means of signaling distress should be implemented.

It should be mandatory for every hunter to carry a uniform noise maker that is loud and is not a sound that is connected with the environment.

In Canada, a person cannot be on any body of water without a whistle -- just in case of an emergency. The whistle idea is good, but in this hunter's situation, I doubt he would have had the strength or wind to blow a whistle.

I am going to suggest to our club that we all buy small aerosol air horns which can be purchased for about $8.

Such a small device will not take up much room in hunting bags, and it may save lives.

Richard F. Hess Sr.

Ellicott City

Super Bowl Sunday

For years I have heard about the celebrated uniqueness of Super Bowl Sunday -- how food stores empty and bars fill up, how municipal water pressure drops and how street crime decreases.

But while talking with a volunteer for the House of Ruth, I learned of another aspect: The violence moves indoors. This is the worst day of the year for domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse won't stop so long as those around us fail to call a penalty. That's where we can all make a difference.

Super Bowl Sunday is a day for designated drivers, not designated hitters.

And just as we do not let our friends drive while drunk, we men can give each other a hand with our violent impulses. We must stop leaving the violent among us to fend for themselves.

So let me suggest a new tradition for this day when men gather together in front of the TV screen: Let's take a time-out to talk about violence.

Let's team up to remind ourselves that we men don't have to act on our impulses and hurt someone whom we prefess to love.

Let's cheer each other on to do better, to win one for ourselves -- and for the dignity and self-respect of all men.

David Sulomm Stein



The writer is rabbi of Congregation Beit Tikvah.

Dissidents and the NAACP

As president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, it pains me deeply seeing various dissidents attempting to bypass our formal election process.

It is painful because it means they do not trust our membership. They do not trust the more than 600,000 members who have constitutionally voted into those hands they wish to place the leadership of our organization.

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