Fines needed to stop speeders


To the editor:

I found your note below Kevin Weidenbaum’s perceptive letter in the Nov. 26 edition to be churlish and indicative that you had not perhaps fully understood his points.

The fact that the citation rate for speeding violations in the city are absurdly low does not indicate that speeding in the city is not a problem. Indeed, the community would be well-served were you to regularly draw attention to the ludicrously citation rate of 33 citations per year. Perhaps the embarrassment to our civic leaders and constabulary would lead to responsible enforcement of these important safety regulations. After all, the vision statement of the Oberlin police department is “To provide the best possible opportunity to live, work and raise a family in a safe community….” Maniacs careening down our absurdly narrow and sidewalk-free streets are a menace and may well bring about death or incapacitation to innocent citizens.

I have measured some fixed distances within the city’s 25 mph zones and carry with me a stop watch. Some elementary mathematics, that I have fortunately not forgotten, enables me to measure motorists’ speeds with good accuracy. At many times of the day, approximately five cars per minute traverse a half-mile stretch of Pyle Road, a designated 25 mph street, in 40 seconds or less. Half a mile in 40 seconds corresponds to 45 miles in one hour. A modest fine of, say, $100, would produce income of $30,000 in one typical hour of one typical day. A less modest fine is needed to dissuade those idiots who flash headlights to warn approaching miscreants of a police presence. Even more revenue.

I realize this rate of income would not be sustainable: People would actually start to obey the speed limit. Residents could once more walk to their doctors’ appointments in safety. Pets would not be in mortal danger every walk they take. We might even save a life. We might be able to live, work and raise a family in a safe community.

Rhys Price Jones