Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Speed trap: ‘Monument to stupidity’

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Add my name to the hundreds who object to the camera-enforced 25 mph speed limit on the west end of Watkins Mill Road (‘‘Road is a speed trap,” Aug. 22 letter).

Segueing from 35 mph in Montgomery Village — by an elementary school no less, where the speed limit is reduced to 25 mph only during school hours — Watkins Mill expands to three and then to four lanes, with a median strip, ending at Route 355, with an intervening stop sign.

This mile or so stretch from the bridge to Route 355 is notable for its lack of encroaching schools, houses or commerce. Nevertheless, the camera will detect (and a $40-plus fine will be assessed to) any vehicle exceeding 25 mph. To avoid a penalty, drivers must drive so slowly, that the road becomes a hazard.

I urge residents and neighbors to boycott this part of Watkins Mill (many are already). Hopefully it will fall into disuse.

But the lasting harm of this monument to stupidity is that it nullifies the work of local authorities to encourage the community to cooperate with them. The speed trap, as Rob Blizard calls it in his letter, drowns out any calls for funding, education, crime watch or any other assistance not required by law.

Robert N. Britcher, Montgomery Village