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Liberty Township is highway speed trap

DEAR EDITOR:

My wife recently drove through Liberty Township, and we now have memories of it, but unfortunately they are not fond.

While she was only in the township for a few minutes, the speed cameras caught her doing 77 mph in a 65 mph zone. Since the speed limit for that highway is often at least 70 (and traffic tends to average 75 or so), she was not driving dangerously.

This seems to me like a classic speed trap; small town wants to fund its budget in a reduced speed limit area and rigidly enforcing it to catch people (like my wife) who didn’t notice the drop. It’s not about safety, since studies show that it is safer if drivers drive according to road conditions rather than being distracted by trying to look for constantly changing speed limits. What does the evidence show? Are there fewer accidents now after the installation of the cameras?

By googling Liberty Township speed trap, I was able to find out more about the issue, and saw that there was some principled opposition to creating this revenue opportunity, which I respect. While I admit that funding the government by fleecing outsiders has its appeal, it’s not very efficient (since the contractor gets such a large chunk of the proceeds), and in the long run, I’d humbly suggest that it hurts the reputation of the township.

Who wants to patronize (or move to) a township that is known for its speed trap? I hope Liberty Township officials will reconsider this program, rather than being defined by it.

KENT JONES

Washington, Pa.