Cameras will save us from ‘idiot drivers’

To the editor:

I was very pleased to read that Review-Journal Publisher Sherman Frederick now supports traffic cameras. That is a real change from your Sept. 6 editorial headlined, “Red-light cameras and seat belt usage: Intrusive legislation won’t make roads any safer.”

In other editorials, the Review-Journal has said that the major cause of red-light running is “poorly timed traffic signals.” That’s ludicrous. Poorly timed signals have nothing to do with the idiot drivers who are exceeding the speed limits and deliberately running red lights. It is these drivers who need to have their behavior corrected through citations with hefty fines.

The Texas Transportation Institute study, “Red Light Running Policy Review,” states; “The review also shows that red light cameras can contribute to an increase in the number of rear-end crashes; however, this effect is relatively small and temporary. Red light cameras are effective if the number of red light running crashes is significant.”

In some municipalities, the procurement, installation, operation and maintenance of red light camera systems has been contracted out to a vendor that gets a percentage of the fines collected. This must not be done! The purpose of the red light cameras is to increase safety and save lives. Red light cameras were in use when I got my driver’s license in Europe more than 30 years ago. They are in use in many cities throughout the United States.



Third party

To the editor:

According to the July 25 commentary by Alexander Cockburn, “GOP support for war is political suicide,” Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid is near its end. Let me tell Mr. Cockburn that Sen. McCain’s stance on Iraq is not his major problem. His major problems began with McCain-Feingold and ended with immigration reform.

I believe Mr. Cockburn’s motive for writing his piece was to convince the electorate that they need a third-party candidate in the ’08 presidential race. This would split the Republican vote and elect Hillary Clinton. Remember 1992, when Ross Perot ran as a third-party conservative candidate? We got eight years of Bill Clinton (and Hillary).

Is this what Republicans really want — another Clinton presidency, with both Bill and Hillary back in the White House?

R.L. Kraemer


Weighty issue

To the editor:

Marjorie Guihn argued in her July 31 letter that mentioning in a news story the weight of District Judge Elizabeth Halverson was akin to an ethnic or racial slur and should not be part of responsible journalism.

I beg to differ.

Unlike the color of your skin or your gender, obesity is a lifestyle choice. We have the dubious distinction of being the most obese city in the most obese country in the world.

When a person directly responsible for others can’t be bothered to take proper care of herself, why wouldn’t you take a harder look at her behavior?

This is the United States, of course. People have a right to eat triple cheeseburgers, hide Twinkies in their office drawers and consume a six pack of soda a day. But if that is the sort of lifestyle you choose to lead, please don’t try to confuse it with racism or religious persecution.

Tony Marovitz


Worst president

To the editor:

Sen. Harry Reid has stated that President Bush “will be remembered as the worst president in history.” While I am sure that many would agree with him, my nominee for that dubious distinction would go to another.

President James Buchanan, the 15th president, had tried to annex Cuba and had interfered in Mexican affairs in order to try to bring more slave territory to the United States. His pro-slavery stands on the Dred Scott case, and in the Kansas territory dispute were more than questionable. And, when one by one the states started to secede, beginning with South Carolina on Dec. 20, 1860, Mr. Buchanan said, “I am powerless to do anything about it.”

There are other presidents who could certainly be considered for this dishonor, but my nominee shall remain James Buchanan.

Glen Gillette


Immigration plan

To the editor:

Our government should send some of our immigration officials to Saudi Arabia — where my family and I lived for more than 20 years — to learn how to deal with the illegal immigrant problem.

From time to time on the street or shopping mall, policemen in Saudi Arabia will ask you for your passport or work permit — and if you don’t have any of these legal papers, they will simply detain you and send you back to your own country.

Paul querubin


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