I take the occasion of Smart Tag merging with E-ZPass [Metro, Oct. 28] to voice a complaint I've shared earlier with the Virginia Department of Transportation:

The system's sharp-cornered, hard plastic transponders are held in place on windshields by two adhesive mounting strips. During an accident, this object could easily become a dangerous projectile capable of taking out an eye or causing other serious injury. Having worked in injury prevention and control, I have seen the damage seemingly harmless objects can cause.

Surely a safer system could be designed. New vehicles should have built-in transponder capabilities, and our transportation agencies ought to smarten up by providing safer transponders for the rest of us.

BARRY A. COOPER

Arlington

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I'm sure legions of travelers on Interstate 95 have eagerly awaited the linkage of Smart Tag with E-ZPass. But I hope the court of public opinion is strong enough to dissuade Virginia from saddling about 495,000 Smart Tag users with another fee.

If Virginia does incur nearly $3 million in one-time charges to join the E-ZPass network, folks might find a modest, short-term surcharge acceptable, coupled with some added fee for new clients. The operative words here are "modest" and "short-term." A one-time fee of $5 would almost cover the cost to link the systems. Further, if new users had a $1 or $2 fee for transponders, that would more than accommodate the $70,000 annual subscription fee that E-ZPass reportedly will charge Virginia.

JOHN GAFFIGAN

Fairfax Station