The speeding debate goes on
Excessive speed on the highways is dangerous -- to the speeder and to others. That's not Maryland law. That's the law of physics.
Nevertheless, there are some who continue to argue against speed enforcement, such as that praised on this blog Tuesday night, with all the vehemence of the "birthers" who continue to argue that President Obama is not a citizen.
Anyway, I enjoyed the outpouring of response to my approval of the tough enforcement being cariied out on Interstate 95 -- even if much of it consisted of negative evaluations of my intellect.
But let me clarify a few issues:
--The primary traffic law enforcement agency on that stretch of I-95 around Caton Avenue is, as several readers pointed out, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. It's a full-fledged, armed, professional police force with a wide range of responsibilities. Transportation authority police officers do not have jurisdiction over the city streets in Baltimore, so when they "flood the zone" on Interstate 95, it subtracts nothing from the safety of Baltimore.
--Good, strict traffic enforcement is good, strict law enforcement. Period. Traffic stops have proven to be extremely effective in interdicting shipments of illegal guns and drugs. Each traffic stop creates an opportunity to see whether there is an outstanding warrant against the driver. Certainly abusive traffic stops have been made, but that's a reason to eliminate the abuse, not the legitimate stops where there is probable cause.
--Maryland does not have a law requiring motorists to drive on the right, pass on the left. The General Assembly regularly considers such proposals and rejects them. So the police can't enforce a law that isn't on the books.
--Motorists who drive far below the posted speed limit on an interstate highway are indeed a menace. They should be pulled over, ticketed and admonished to use non-interstates if they can't keep up the speeds there. However, the person driving at the speed limit is not a menace simply because they offend some lead-footed driver's notion of what the speed limit should be.
--There are far fewer slow menaces on the road than there are fast menaces. I'd put the ratio at about 50-1 on the too-fast side.
--When the United States adopts the strict driver's licensing and training imposed by Germany, then we can start talking about how safe the Autobahn is. The main reason the Autobahn is relatively safe is not the high speeds; it's the lack of American drivers.
-- It would be great to see just as many flashing lights out there tonight. You don't like traffic stops, don't speed.