I wonder if Giffen B. Nickol ever drives the Beltway? In reference to this person's comments on the experimental photo radar being installed {"Radar Camera Set for Debut on Beltway," Metro, June 17}, I have to comment. Try to drive 55 mph (the supposed speed limit), try to be courteous to those entering the highway, try changing lanes. These are often impossible or potentially deadly maneuvers, because most drivers are speeding.

Who, then, has been robbed "of our liberty in order to protect us from some alleged harm?" Anything that will make the Beltway a saner place should be attempted. Voluntary compliance with the law is failing. Police pulling over offenders is too dangerous for police, law breakers and fellow drivers. Roving police cars are frequently ignored (or are themselves speeding). What are we law-abiding citizens to do?

I moved to within a mile of my work. I bike to work, to the bank and to the grocery store. I boycott the Beltway, using any alternate route possible. I avoid traveling to Virginia.

Perhaps when fellow Washingtonians slow down, they will realize that another five minutes in their car has no adverse impact on their lives.

I welcome the radar cameras with open arms and visible license plates.


The new cameras placed along the Beltway to photograph speed limit violators will cause unnecessary aggravation for drivers, traffic courts and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Since the cameras will only take pictures of the car and not the driver, the car's owner will be blamed for every ticket unless he can prove to a judge that someone else was driving. In light of Virginia's procedure of adding points to a driver's record for each speeding violation, the courts will become clogged with car owners trying to vindicate themselves.

Previously, one could pay the fine by mail if going to court remained inconvenient. Now an innocent car owner will have to appear before a judge whenever another driver gets a ticket. If the owner neglects to go to court, not only will the DMV add points to his driving record, but the insurance companies will blame the owner as well.

Before the Virginia State Police continue with its plan to photograph speeders, the DMV should contemplate the bureaucratic confusion that will inevitably follow the system's implementation. CHANDAK GHOSH McLean