Though I was saddened to hear about Lacey Gallagher's death in a car accident after her prom, I was amazed at the poor decision made by the parents who allowed the seven students to take a late-night trip to the Poconos ("Remembering a promising life cut short," April 30).

Several factors led to this accident:

1. Allowing such a long-distance drive late at night and not taking into account both the inexperience and the obvious sleep-deprived state of the driver.

2. Either not being aware - or worse, knowing - that seven people would stuff themselves into one vehicle.

3. Not understanding that teens have no sense of their own mortality (no one wore seat belts).

Mitchell Jacobs

Aston

'Gayborhood' excludes

I am not homophobic; I am a straight man. I believe that all people should be treated equal. Gay people are a culture in our society, no better, no less than any other culture, regardless of what some may believe. However, I feel that the city of Philadelphia has no right to name a neighborhood in our city "gayborhood" ("A rainbow connection," Inquirer photo caption, April 19).

Center City does have a large gay community, but it also has a large straight community. If any other group of people tried to name a neighborhood after their race or culture, they would be attacked by all types of organizations; the news media would explode.

This is America, where everybody is equal. However, a neighborhood should not be named after the sexual orientation of a certain group of people.

Center City is the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed. It is one of our country's most historic neighborhoods. I don't believe our founding fathers would appreciate the city making it into a segregated gay neighborhood.

Chris Cabrera

Philadelphia

Seat belts are a must

The last few weeks have been particularly difficult for me. The reason involves people not being restrained in their cars.

Gov. Corzine is very lucky to be alive. But, unfortunately, Lacey Gallagher's life was cut short at 18.

In January 1951, when I was 17, I was ejected from a car and landed in a traffic island. I, too, was in the front seat. (There were no restraints in 1951.) I, too, found myself in Cooper Hospital, far from my Philadelphia home.

The care was excellent; round-the-clock nurses were necessary because of the extent of my injuries. I had a compound fracture of the femur and patella, which involved traction and many surgeries. In June that year, I returned home. I wore a full leg brace and used crutches for more than a year. The physical therapy was grueling.

Years later, when seat belts became available I was thrilled. Buckling up is something I do immediately upon entering a car. On the occasions that others are along for the ride, they have a choice of restraints or walking.

Lives can and will be saved. How tragic that promising young people had to be thrown from a car on a night that should forever have been a joyous memory.

Sandra Elman Jacobowitz
Philadelphia
yarko@juno.com

We need term limits

State Rep. Daylin Leach's April 25 commentary, "Term limits: A legislative dumbing-down," rubbed me the wrong way. If term limits are a bad idea, then please explain why our Legislature (with no limits) has been corrupted to the extent that we are now in the midst of "reform"?

A large number of long-term legislators led us into pay raises at 2 a.m., a gambling law that would not have withstood scrutiny by the public, and pension increases for themselves. Of course, there is the "property tax reform act" that only shifts taxes from one pocket to another and the infamous "unvouchered expenses."

The only thing I have seen by not having limits is the ability of some politicians to not answer a direct question, but spend time talking about it until you, the listener, have forgotten your own question!

Jaydee Miller
Wallingford