- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a tax-paying resident of Montgomery County, I have been following the debate over speed cameras for some time (“Speed-camera law could go to voters,” Page 1, Sunday). It has been amusing to read the arguments against the cameras.

Most people don’t like the cameras for a simple reason: They have been caught breaking the law by exceeding the speed limit. But after a camera catches them speeding, they argue that the fines they subsequently receive are an invasion of their privacy.

Where is the invasion of privacy? If they do not speed, their pictures are never taken, and they are not fined.

Another objection is that the cameras amount to an unfair tax. But no one is required to speed. Therefore, no one is required to pay the “tax.” Those who choose to exceed the posted speed limit are, in effect, choosing to pay this “tax.”

Some people say the cameras are a form of entrapment. However, speed-limit signs are posted at regular intervals for everyone to see. There is no excuse for not seeing what is there.

None of the objections is valid. The bottom line is that people want to drive however fast or slow they want, based on their personal preferences and time constraints, with little or no regard to the safety of others. These are people who have never learned that actions have consequences. In a civilized society such as ours, laws are in place to protect the safety of the citizens. These laws include limits on how one can operate a motor vehicle.

Some people seem to think the laws are just guidelines or suggestions. If the opponents of speed cameras cared about other people’s safety, there would be no outcry about getting caught for breaking the law. If you don’t want a ticket, don’t speed. If obeying the speed limit makes you late, allow more time. If you are late because of circumstances beyond your control, apologize and get on with your business.

Driving is a privilege and a responsibility - not a right. Safe and lawful driving is an obligation.

WILMA BURRIS

Potomac

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