Dr. Alan Kaplan’s letter [“Red light camera is not for safety,” Nov. 14] is a perfect example why Montgomery County residents are forced to endure traffic enforcement cameras: An utter disregard for the law, common sense and good driving habits. Dr. Kaplan states that “people have learned to slow, look and if no oncoming traffic, turn right without stopping” at right on red situations. He fully admits that the law dictates a full stop, but gives the usual excuse that everyone breaks this and many other traffic laws. The reason for the camera must be revenue because safe drivers like Dr. Kaplan know how to avoid accidents.
Stop means stop. Stop at stop signs and stop before you make a right turn on red. Period. When you roll though you can’t possibly look and see if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. You can’t be completely sure that someone is not making a U-turn. Stopping calms traffic and slows drivers, forcing them to be more cautious. Stopping preserves safety in difficult light and weather conditions.
Drivers all over the county routinely roll through stop signs, right-on-red traffic lights and cross walks (with pedestrians present). They also blow through just turned red lights. Stop is not an ambiguous word.
Personally, I don’t like the idea of traffic cameras. It is very Big Brother and it does make drivers feel like an ATM for government. But after more than a decade in Montgomery I can’t see any other reasonable solution. I watch people roll through the stop sign on my street every day. In fact, I would say less than 20 percent come to a full and complete stop. If people like Dr. Kaplan could manage to follow some basic common sense then maybe the cameras would be unnecessary.
If Dr. Kaplan wants a green arrow at that intersection then he can petition the proper government agencies to make that change. In the meantime, the camera will be sure he comes to a stop as the law requires.
Anthony Clayman, Bethesda