To the Editor:
I applaud the efforts of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue staff in their support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The annual "Fill the Boot" drive raises a lot of money each year; it's a good cause.
Not wanting to rain on anyone's parade, but I find it disconcerting that so many political figures encourage what I believe is bad practice. As your article states, “they filled busy intersections across the county.”
Safe driving requires full attention when approaching and driving through a busy intersection. Throw in three or four moving individuals (and, perhaps a fire vehicle) who are in the median strips and crosswalks, trying to get my attention, and I can tell you it's very distracting. How can our supervisors spend their terms dealing with issues such as highway safety, safe driving, texting while driving, balloons on corners and intersections, etc.—and yet not think there is something dangerously wrong with allowing and supporting all these intersection distractions? Do we need to have a firefighter struck by a vehicle, or a fatal auto accident in the intersection before supervisors see that something needs to be changed?
There are many ways of raising funds. Several organizations (e.g. Salvation Army, the Knights of Columbus KOVAR drive, Girl Scout troops) stand outside supermarkets and raise money. Others solicit successfully through the mail. Certainly, the fire and rescue staff could do likewise. Not as effective, one might say! That's possible. But, the end does not justify the means; keep in mind the potential consequences of continuing a bad practice.
Or, if my suggestions and comments are way off base, maybe we could have all our fundraising groups fill our county intersections each weekend. If it's OK for the fire and rescue staff, it should be just as good for everybody else.
Joel J. Lutkenhouse