Traffic cameras on the Beltway?

So many Review-Journal-istas wrote in support of last week’s column advocating traffic cameras on the Beltway, the topic demanded a second visit. It is good to know others think cameras can make Las Vegas roads safer by cracking down 24/7 on speeders and other traffic offenders.

The following letters have been edited. Not every letter received was used. The pro-con ratio of the opinions expressed here is the same as the total number of letters received. Further use of the letters without the expressed written permission of Major League Baseball is prohibited.

Just kidding about the last sentence. But I’m absolutely serious about using traffic cameras as a tool to make the Beltway safer. On behalf of those who will be saved from future Las Vegas Beltway crashes by camera enforcement, I beg the keepers of Las Vegas traffic to please listen to what the people say:

— Bill: Dead-on column. My wife and I barely escaped instant death in Henderson when struck by a hit-and-run driver traveling at outrageous speed and unable to stop at a intersection we were entering. I concur with your suggestion regarding the installation of cameras.

— Kelly: My son, Alec, will attend the new Bishop Gorman High School in the fall and he will travel the I-215 every day. Now, I have a vested interest in the safety of that roadway. We need leaders such as you to step up and out on such an issue.

— Vince: I’m all for cameras. We might even catch drivers speeding along at 80 mph while gassing on their cell phones.

— Bruce: Mr. F., you don’t get out much. I’m forced onto 215 several times a day for my job. You say try driving at 5 mph over the speed limit? A sure plan for disaster. Even if you do 15 or 20 mph above the limit, you get tailgated, have lights flashed and fingers flipped at you.

— A. Reader: Your column last week had me in stitches. “Yellow means, well … yellow doesn’t mean anything.” True! Trust me, I drive for a living and have seen it all. You really nailed it, Sherm. So if I’m one of those that has, perhaps, cut you off on the Beltway, forgive me. I’m just trying to keep up.

— Jeanette: Guaranteed, you are not alone. I, too, drive the speed limit in the slow lane and have received more than one nasty look. Go get ’em, and if you need help just let me know.

— Don: Hooray for your 7/29 column. Charlotte, N.C., installed cameras at select area intersections. At the first three-month review, accidents at camera-equipped intersections were down 67 percent. You are riding a white horse. Giddyup!

— Joanne: Loved the commentary on the Beltway! Someone has referred to the I-215 as the Autobahn. I strongly support the use of the cameras. Funny, Phoenix has had traffic cameras for years — what, they don’t have the ACLU there?

— Lisa: I drive the Beltway all day. It is a death trap. So much so that I moved this summer just so my 16-year-old new driver could get to school without driving the freeways! Cost me a ton of money. I don’t think cameras will do one single thing. Here are my interim solutions: 1. Truck drivers drive so fast on the Beltway that I think other drivers are just trying to stay out of their way! Ticket the truck drivers for a few weeks and they might slow down. 2. Plant a cop car at each light along the Beltway in clear sight of both directions. It can even be a decoy with a dummy sitting in it, but the sight of a police vehicle slows the traffic considerably. Thanks for staying on this topic. I see an accident or two each day.

— Michael: The only benefit of the cameras is to add to the coffers of the cities that install them.

— John: I support your traffic camera idea. Cameras are everywhere (parking garages, airports, etc.) so why not on street lamps to catch and fine red-light runners and speeders?

— Mary: Congratulations, well said! I don’t like to drive anywhere these days, for you take your life into the danger zone on our highways. Putting up video cameras and fining people would hopefully slow people down.

— George: This won’t be popular with the Mario Andrettis of the valley, but cameras will cut down on injuries and deaths. Maybe it will help stabilize insurance rates.

— R.A.: First cameras for traffic, then what — cameras in bars for smoking?

Good letters all.

But, hey, R.A., don’t give me any ideas.

Sherman Frederick is publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media. Readers may write him at sfrederick@reviewjournal.com.

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