Crashes, Not Revenue, Spur

Crackdown, Commander Says

The opinion of Mike McGuire that the Fairfax County Police Department's recent campaign along the Fairfax County Parkway was designed for revenue and not safety couldn't be any further off the mark ["Speed Enforcement Driven by Revenue," Voices of Fairfax, Dec. 12].

Although the Fairfax County Parkway has some locations that engineering solutions would make safer, the parkway itself is not inherently dangerous. The way many motorists operate on the parkway is, however, very dangerous. During our recent campaign, 542 motorists were cited for exceeding the speed limit in excess of 20 mph above the posted 50 mph. Does McGuire believe the speed limit on the parkway should be 75 mph or 80 mph?

Crashes along the parkway, which include 25 fatalities since the parkway opened, are the sole driving force behind the recent campaign. In fact, in the last three years alone, there have been 3,687 crashes along the parkway, including 700 injuries and seven fatal crashes. Our in-depth analysis of the causes points directly to excessive speed, aggressive driving behavior and driver inattention.

We will continue to use all the tools available, including nontraditional unmarked vehicles, to combat this serious public safety problem. Officers operating unmarked vehicles have received special training, and procedures have been established to interact with motorists who are unsure if the vehicle stopping them is a bona fide police officer. Our unmarked fleet is only a small percentage of our marked patrol fleet, and we continue to rely on a visible presence on our highways to gain compliance with our traffic laws. Motorists will have to remember, however, that they may not be able to simply look into the rearview mirror for a marked police vehicle to decide if they should obey our laws.

Increasing traffic volume, declining resources for enforcement, safety programs and roadway improvements are a constant challenge for all of us. Not once, in any of my discussions with police administrators, has revenue been a topic of discussion concerning any enforcement initiatives. Reducing crashes, preventing injuries and saving lives have been.

Police Capt. J.F. Bowman

Commander, Traffic Division

Fairfax County Police Department

More Responses to Four

Or More Years for Governor

An enthusiastic "yes" to allowing Virginia governors to serve two consecutive terms. Much more opportunity to get some things done than in a one-term limit situation.

Alan Salisbury

Oakton

Yes. I agree with Gov. [Mark R.] Warner (D) that governors should be allowed to run for a second consecutive term.

I know this could be a double-edged sword, but it would also give someone an opportunity to perhaps get Virginia back on track.

Mary Barboza

Oak Hill

Yes, we do believe that the Constitution should be changed to allow our governors to run for two consecutive terms. We believe it is long overdue.

Billy and Carol Bevill

McLean

I think Virginia should change the Constitution to allow governors to run for a second consecutive term.

Anne Copsey

Falls Church

Yes, I agree that governors should be able to run for a second consecutive term. It would allow the governor to make decisions that would really benefit the state rather than push popular laws that bankrupt the state and leave the next governor in a nightmare budget situation such as what Gov. [James. S. Gilmore III] (R) did.

Evelyne Bubernak

Alexandria

I think Virginia should change the Constitution to allow governors to run for a second consecutive term. Thank God we had Gilmore for only four years, however. Two terms should be the limit.

Eileen Shropshire

Alexandria