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LETTER TO EDITOR: These evil speed cameras

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("Wider use of traffic cameras to help close budget gap," Page 1, Wednesday) openly acknowledged that a plan to expand the use of D.C. traffic cameras is intended "to help close [the] budget gap" - as opposed to enhancing safety. Among other expensive gizmos to be employed will be lasers "to capture speeders in tunnels."

Of course, nearly every speed trap is strategically placed at a section where the traffic flow is minimal, danger is nonexistent, and is in the opposite direction of the morning or evening rush-hour surge. The speed limit is lowered along the strategic couple of blocks to lure inattentive drivers into believing nothing has changed, as they coast along the uneventful, intersection-free, school-free stretch; then the speed limit returns to whatever it was before. The charade of cops and lasers is activated during periods when only those who travel the route frequently know to expect it, whereas everyone else will travel at the pace of traffic.

This form of entrapment ensures the continued filling of coffers, while reckless drivers weave in and out along busier stretches, honk their horns at careful drivers who refuse to "cut it close" at dangerous intersections, and tailgate on busy freeways.

BEVERLY K. EAKMAN

Kensington

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