Letters to the Editor

 Vol. 10, No. 9

February 28 - March 6, 2002

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Red Light Cameras Must Have Struck a Nerve

Editor’s Note: Seldom has Bay Weekly received so much feedback as we have regarding proposed cameras to catch on film unsuspecting speeders. Bill Burton took one position on cameras [Vol. X, No. 7]. Bay Weekly’s editorial staff countered in the following week’s editorial.

Since then, many of you have written, giving us your take on this hot issue. Adding to the dialogue this week are some of those letters, including a response from he who stirred this up in the first place. Let us know what you think, too.

Remember, we print only signed letters.

Not Enough Said On Those $$#%#$$ Cameras

Dear Bay Weekly:
What’s next? I see by your editorial “Those $$#%#$$ Radar Cameras” that the newspaper with which I’m so familiar urges defeat of camera legislation to catch speeders and red light runners.

As far as I can determine, Bay Weekly’s position is primarily based on the thinking that the camera programs are revenue producing rather than a means to beef up law enforcement and make the roads safer for those of us who don’t speed or run lights.

As I wrote in my recent column in said paper, only the guilty pay. But might I add, that seeing you oppose revenue producing associated with traffic violations, I’m curious whether your stance indicates that traffic courts should be abolished as well.

Are they not revenue producing, much more so than cameras alone?

Do away with traffic courts, and vehicular traffic and road rage hereabouts will be akin to that of Mexico City. Meanwhile, with no revenues from the courts, our governor will find another tax to make up the shortfall — and those of us who abide by traffic laws (no moving violations in 61 years behind the wheel) will be chipping in to make up the difference lost by daredevils who pay for freewheeling on our roads. Enough said …

— Bill Burton, Riviera Beach

We Are a Lawless Culture

Dear Bay Weekly:
We are a lawless culture, and we only obey traffic laws when forced by the heavy hand of the law. We think nothing of driving 80mph in a 50mph zone. We run red lights when they are inconvenient. Stopping at stop signs is optional.

We need enforcement, and cameras will force us to obey. Radar or red light cameras are a deterrent against our lawlessness.

And if you are worried about “for-profit” programs, give the fines (less the cost of operating the cameras) to the local food bank and Habitat for Humanity.

— Michael Koch, Deale

Taxation without Representation

Dear Bay Weekly:
Your editorial calling traffic radar cameras a new tax scheme is right on the mark.

I recently received a greeting in the mail from the District of Columbia’s Automatic Traffic Control. That “gotcha” notice that carries “no points” lightened my wallet by $75.

Washington, D.C., whose license plates bear the slogan, “Taxation without Representation,” has found a way to achieve the commuter tax it’s been itching to levy against Marylanders and Virginians. So now, Marylanders who commute into D.C. can have their photo taken by a stealth camera and also be taxed without representation.

— M.L. Faunce, Churchton

We welcome your letters and opinions. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to us at editor@bayweekly.com.

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly