School Bus SafetyAfter reading Richard L. Gorman's letter...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 20, 1995

School Bus Safety

After reading Richard L. Gorman's letter of March 2 regarding school bus safety, I could only shake my head . . .

Dr. Gorman attempts to minimize the dangers presented by motorists who run through the red flashing lights of a stopped school bus by stating that "the average school bus experiences one 'fly-by' each 100 days." This is so far off the mark as to be laughable.

In our testimony, heard by the senators and Dr. Gorman, I stated that we have recorded over 1,200 "fly-bys" in the first four months of the school year, but that those are just the ones for which we were able to get tag numbers. The actual incidence of "fly-bys" is many times that amount each and every year.

I would suggest that anyone who doubts the word or questions "the hubris of Baltimore County officials" on this issue can simply walk to the bus stop and talk to any one of our bus drivers for verification.

Anyone who wants to take the time to thoroughly understand the problem will soon discover that the issue of "fly-bys" is a serious concern throughout the student transportation industry . . .

Between June 1993 and February 1995, five Baltimore County students were struck by motorists who violated the school bus stop law.

For the third year in a row, nationwide accident statistics indicate an increase in student fatalities in the "danger zone" around the school bus. Baltimore County policy is designed to keep children out of the danger zone . . .

This is not some mindless bureaucratic game we are playing. Our opposition to Senate Bill 37 was based on thoughtful reflection and study of an issue that is the most serious and direct threat to student safety that we face.

I applaud Del. Ann Marie Doory for her efforts in Baltimore City and testified in support of her bill. I supported and testified in favor of two of Sen. Vernon Boozer's school bus bills. I applaud him for his commitment to student safety.

But I continue to believe that to ignore the constant reality of the student injuries caused by "fly-bys" would be foolhardy, irresponsible and deadly.

Rita Fromm

Towson

The writer is manager of transportation for the Baltimore County Public Schools.

Hardly Fighters

Doug Struck is misinformed when he refers to the radical Muslims as "fighters" (Feb. 19). They're not fighters -- they're terrorists. Fighters engage in direct combat with an armed adversary. Terrorists ambush unarmed civilians/children or create havoc within cities with hidden bombs. Fighters? Hardly.

The United States is not enduring terrorism on the scale the Middle East is, and the State Department's criticism of Egypt is unjustified.

Egypt is fighting for its survival. Muslim fanatics' success in Egypt will spread all over the world if unchecked now.

The World Trade Center is a prime example in the United States. Would Mr. Struck like to see that proliferate here? Any tactic a government can employ to destroy terrorists is acceptable -- as anyone who lost a relative in a terrorist attack will tell you.

I don't recall the human rights organizations protesting when the terrorists deprived hundreds of other people of their lives at Lockerbie, the World Trade Center, the bombing in Argentina, the bombings in Israel, etc. Can it be that Muslim lives are more valuable?

Actually, the Egyptians have hit on the perfect deterrent to terrorism. As the terrorists are unwilling to change the government peacefully and are willing to sacrifice their own families and homes in their quest, the choice is theirs. Obey the law or suffer the consequences.

Terrorism is not solitaire -- it's a game two can play.

Elaine Rosenbloom

Baltimore

Comparing Victims

As we close another Black History Month, I am reminded of how far blacks in America have come and how the long road is ahead of us.

The carjacking events near and in Roland Park showed me just how responsive the police are to victims of crime who are white and what goes on when the victims are black.

My car was recently broken into and damaged very severely. The criminals, who happened to be teen-agers, were seen and the description was given to the police.

Moments later, suspects matching the description were stopped, but because we could only identify these persons by their clothing, the police let them go.

We repeatedly asked the police to take fingerprints but finally realized that it would easier and less trouble to just repair the damage and think about moving.

It appears that Roland Park residents do not have to ask for complete crime investigation. They have their cars towed to police headquarters for finger-printing.

Now I wonder, if the same events with the same ending had happened in West Baltimore, would the police have handled the crime in the same manner?

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