I would like to defend columnist Courtland Milloy [“Speed cameras slam the brakes on joy of driving,” Metro, Sept. 12]. It’s naive to think these cameras are mainly about safety. They are about the money. Local governments hard up for revenue have discovered a new cash cow, and they will exploit it to the hilt.
As Mr. Milloy wrote, speed cameras can cause accidents. When drivers slam on their brakes in a place where nobody normally stops, collisions are bound to occur. And when people drive with their eyes glued to the side of the road, looking for the cameras, they are not paying attention to the road ahead of them. The cameras can cause distracted driving just as surely as cell phones can.
I can hear the rejoinder: This wouldn’t be a problem if people would just slow down. That’s a powerful argument when speed limits are reasonable, but often they are not. They are 10 to 15 mph below a normal, safe driving speed. People who don’t want to go everywhere at a crawl will play the game of look-for-the-camera. Drivers become distracted and forget to use common sense.
Marion Edey, Silver Spring
The letter writers condemning Courtland Milloy [“The traffic camera debate: Speed kills vs. speed thrills,” Sept. 15] must belong to the National Association of Slowpokes. There is indeed such a thing as finding pleasure in driving. It is not a sin or a perversion. Public roads are not race tracks, but there is no joy in always driving at a rate of speed chosen for the lowest common denominator.
Failure to recognize that traffic conditions vary and that speed limits should be flexible is reminiscent of bureaucracy’s approach to everything: One size fits all.
Alain de Sarran, Bowie