I am in full agreement with Dr. Kaplan’s assertion that “The right turn on red camera at Gude Drive and Gaither Road is not a safety factor ... It is a money maker. There is no other reason.”
In his description of the intersection in question as a “T” intersection, Dr. Kaplan might have further described it as a wide, wooded, through area with no commercial or residential surroundings to create a complex driving situation due to vehicles entering or leaving the road. Indeed, at certain times, traffic here is negligible.
Further, both West Gude and Gaither roads have central islands ensuring clear visibility for the motorist in every direction.
Here, the most careful of drivers — having slowed, then having assessed the situation as presenting no danger to either themselves, any pedestrian, or other motorist when there are no cars turning left from the west — might well make a careful turn onto an empty road.
Dr. Kaplan suggests the installation of a red/green arrow to control right turns. That may well be the answer.
I would suggest instead, and much less costly, the installation of a red octagon stop sign. There would then be no confusion at this site, nor would any driver feel they had been victim of a money-making scheme.
It would be interesting to know from the Traffic and Transportation Department not just a history of accidents at this corner — but how many citations have been issued to drivers making this right hand turn.
Joan H. Coffey, Rockville