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Letter to the Editor

April 27, 2009

Speed cameras will improve highway safety



To the editor:

Marylanders will soon be safer when traveling our highways thanks to legislation authorizing speed camera enforcement in construction work zones.

This new tool will encourage drivers to do what we all should be doing - driving responsibly, staying alert and traveling within posted speed limits.

With well-posted signage and clear advance warning of speed cameras, this will not be a matter of "gotcha."

The overriding goal is to slow drivers to a safe and uniform speed, not to catch speeders. We hope that there is no need to issue citations at all.

People who excessively speed endanger themselves and everyone around them, particularly in construction zones where workers walk adjacent to the thunder of traffic armored with only vests and plastic helmets.

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Even when crews are not present, work zones present less than ideal conditions, including narrowed or shifted lanes, concrete barriers, uneven pavement, dust, relocated signs, and stopped traffic. In fact, national statistics indicate that in four out of five work-zone crashes, it is the driver or passenger who are injured or killed. Studies show that drivers often ignore speed limits in construction areas and police enforcement is nearly impossible inside the constrained space of work zones.

With excessive speed a major factor in fatal crashes and the vulnerability of both motorists and workers, safer work zones mean safer roads for us all.

I thank Gov. Martin O'Malley for his leadership and commend the Legislature for its attention to the safe travel of Maryland's citizens.

John D. Porcari
secretary
Maryland Department of Transportation

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