The law IS the law

Dear Editor:

If the speed limit is 50 miles per hour and a person is driving at 51 mph that person is breaking the law. If the speed limit on a city street is 25 miles per hour and the car going down that street is traveling at 26, it is in violation of the law. This is the same law, the same rules on which drivers were tested prior to becoming licensed.

Our police departments — East Liverpool City, Wellsville, and Liverpool Township — should be commended for their generosity in not ticketing individuals who “just barely” break the law. They have allowed a “grace” speed and even if one is caught doing something wrong, the fine is quite fair and just — only $100 and no points on the license. Even the insurance companies are unaware of the reckless driving habits.

How many protesters of the speed cameras realize that a pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at a speed of 40 miles per hour will suffer broken bones and that one who meets a 60 mile per hour vehicle will most likely not survive the encounter?

For the last 12 years, I have driven on the streets of East Liverpool with a school bus full of preschool children. It is a daily occurrence that some driver will ignore my red lights and stop sign. If that car traveling at 40 miles per hour in a 35 mile an hour zone would break the bones of an adult pedestrian, pray tell what would become of one of these precious little ones under the same circumstances? We make a special effort to teach them rules to follow for crossing the street safely, but sometimes they forget. As they get a little older they will follow the examples of the adults in their lives, the same adults who deliberately and defiantly break the law!

Our cities and towns are full of little folk on bicycles or skateboards, of basketballs and soccer balls rolling into the street. They’re full of children fleeing a snowball or riding a misguided sled. There’s always someone trying to catch a dog or cat that escaped the confinement of their yard. The speed limits have been set for a purpose (not just to aggravate an impatient driver).

I can attest to the fact that these cameras have saved several lives just by forcing drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and slowing down.

So … please slow down … smile and wave (with your whole hand) at the police officer holding the camera who is trying to make our streets a bit safer for the little ones. And, if you can’t do that, grow up and accept your petty punishment.

By the way, thank you to all the officers of all the departments who, in heavy rain or horrid heat, have been performing the thankless task of catching those lawbreakers.

Jean Schneider