John Finnerty’s story (June 28) on speed does not tell the full story. People disregard speed limits because they are not posted at the 85th percentile. Driving too slowly is unsafe. Speed was shown to be the cause of 1.6 percent of crashes in an evaluation of data from 25 states. PennDOT recently put out new data showing that the state is the safest it has ever been for driving. It has been like this for many years, so things keep improving.
Speed cameras were enacted in Pennsylvania to raise revenue. The state totally disregarded the many problems that happened in other areas, as the state simply wanted the money. Simple engineering improvements that have worked in other states were ignored.
What can be done varies based upon the road type, but things like 85th percentile speed limits, longer yellow lights, stop signs only where needed, and the zipper merge have been effective.
It is very important to get data from unbiased sources, not those inside the revenue stream. Road data cannot be compared to other states, since the driving conditions here are unique to our state. Something like not having a nearby hospital can lead to more deaths, so things like speed had nothing to do with causation.
People need to wake up and contact the governor, their state representative, and their state senator, to say they want proper engineering, all forms of automated traffic enforcement repealed, plus no new types. Your wallet depends upon it!
James Sikorski Jr.,
National Motorists Association