Letter: Dangerous pursuits: Rule them out

Jan Makela’s letter to the editor [“Why are excessive speeds still allowed?,” Sept. 20] moved us to tears.

Then we got angry. Why are the state police allowed to roar down the roadways of our county at speeds that may reach 140 miles per hour – maybe even more? Like Jan, we respect law enforcement and honor the brave men and women who chose to go after violators of the law, with the goal of protecting us all. But when in pursuit of such noble aims they seriously endanger the citizenry, we must speak up. This is just wrong.

Jan’s father, Graham Hackley, who operated Hackley’s Store in Amissville for 56 years, was killed by a state trooper who was en route to a plane accident 11 years ago. It was a devastating event to family and friends.

What can we do about the sorry state of affairs that allowed this tragedy to happen? Local jurisdictions are in a bind. That’s because Virginia is one of about 25 states that have adopted the Dillon Rule, which holds that state government has preeminence over local governments. (The other states have “home rule,” an altogether more appealing concept.)

Our lawmakers in Richmond need to revisit the pernicious Dillon Rule. Or perhaps we should all just contemplate secession.

Clay Fulghum
Marshall Jones


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