Giffon B. Nickol of Bel Air in his recent letter {"Speeders Aren't the Problem -- Speed Limits Are," July 9} is absolutely correct: speed limits as set today are increasingly obsolete. Interstate speed limits that have been lowered since the 1960s are ridiculous considering that today's vehicles have three-point seat belts, vastly improved handling, sticky radial tires, anti-lock, four-wheel disc brakes and much less weight to control.

Easy driver harassment that also happens to net the coffers of the state plenty of revenue from speeding fines is the goal, not traffic safety. If safety were the goal, police would ignore speed and cite people for following too closely, for changing lanes without using signals long enough or for not using signals at all. Police would also cite people for speeding up to prevent someone from getting in front of you and for using the passing lanes for anything other than passing.

Frequent rule signs saying "State Law -- Keep Right Unless Passing" and "Tailgating Illegal" or similar signs should be posted, and speed limits should be once again set by engineers who know at what speeds it is safe to drive their road -- not by politicians and their bedmates in the insurance and safety lobbies.

MARC MONTONI Richmond