MAILBAG

Punishment ought to fit the crime

OK. I have stayed quiet for too long, thinking one of our councilmen or another wise person would come up with a way to make our streets safe (“Community seeks traffic safety,” Tuesday).

It amazes me the intelligence of the people we vote into office, the committees we form to study issues and the pay we give them for their knowledge and intelligence.

I am a 78-year-old female driver, and two plus two has always made four to me, even at this late time in life.

Drivers have always driven over the speed limit. This is not a secret — ask any police officer. So, lower the speed limit! Boy, that was difficult to figure out — maybe I should be paid for my grand amount of intellect.

On Glenoaks Boulevard, the speed limit is 40 mph and drivers go 50 mph or more — so lower it to 30 or even 25, given the number of cars on the road. It’s 30 mph in Burbank on Glenoaks, and we don’t hear the problems that Glendale experiences. Of course, they ticket speeders, and everyone is aware of their enforced traffic control, so they slow down.

Everyone in Glendale ignores the speed limit and, for that matter, other drivers, even on residential streets.

On my street alone, we have people speeding up and down on any given day — and if you try to talk to them or their parents, as the case may be, you are yelled at or told to get off their property and that their children can do what they want.

On Sonora Avenue and Glenoaks, people repeatedly enter the left-hand turn lane, with no intention of turning left, just to “jump” the light when it turns green and be the first across the intersection; another trick is to “fake a right” on a side street (like Sonora), then make half a U-turn and go right on through the red light.

This “I” or “me” mentality is taking over Glendale. The rules will never apply to them until we increase our fines for these traffic violations to make it “hurt” — like $100-plus for every mile over the speed limit, $500 for “jumping” the light from a left-turn lane, impounding the cars after three moving violations, making them pay the fees for towing, impounding, etc., in addition to whatever fine in order to get their car back.

Driver’s education should be put back into the schools. These fly-by-night driver’s training courses that people take are an open market for fraud with little if any government oversight and control. People don’t know or don’t care about the rules. We need to resolve both problems. Teach them in a controlled and monitored environment and fine them enough when they break the rules to make it hurt where people notice the most — the wallet — and the problem will be corrected.

If we continue to be lax in enforcing our laws and continue not to fine for the seriousness of the crime, we will continue to have a problem, and it will grow. This problem, as with others, will not correct itself. People need to be made to take responsibility for their actions.

MARYLOU SPIRES

Glendale

The key to school safety is elusive

What is it going to take to get people to slow down around our schools (“Community seeks traffic safety,” Tuesday)?

We have had one fatality that is absolutely gut-wrenching for all involved, several close calls and countless other near-misses that never get reported.

We live near Rosemont Middle School, and our oldest child attends Monte Vista Elementary School. The driving down our residential streets and the poor driving decisions witnessed on a daily basis are astounding.

The walk to school should be encouraged for a multitude of reasons. It has become downright dangerous to walk, and we are now being forced to drive for safety reasons.

Parents are fearful to help police “Monty Lane” due to the rudeness of the drivers. It reminds me of the old Disney cartoon where Goofy would turn into the big-knuckled “Mr. Hyde” character when he got behind the wheel.

We all have jobs to go to and errands to run. The place to make up time is not around our schools.

I can only imagine the perils of trying to walk to La Crescenta Elementary School, which is on a road with direct access to the freeway.

DAVID BEILFUSS

La Crescenta

Bill isn’t a bailout for everybody

Regarding “Congress OKs stimulus bill,” Saturday:

Nowhere in this marvelous stimulus package that President Obama signed into law last week do I see any bailout for the thousands of seniors who have worked and saved all their lives to assure a contented retirement and have lost so much or nearly all of their savings.

With the cost of flying Air Force One to Denver for the signing, why could the bill not be signed in Washington, D.C.? I know, it’s politics.

FRANCIS ADAMS

Glendale


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