By Lynn R. Mitchell
Amid questions about the high number of tickets written along a two-mile stretch of I-295 — estimated to be approximately 1,000 per month, Virginia General Assembly has stepped in. A couple of questions came to mind when I read about this issue. What criteria for pulling over speeding motorists, i.e., one mile over the speed limit? Five miles over the speed limit? Also, if that many tickets were written and it was enough to call AAA’s attention to the problem, one has to wonder if perhaps better signage to alert motorists of the correct speed limit would have been a remedy (see Virginia General Assembly puts brakes on speed traps):
Taking advantage of a two-mile stretch of Interstate 295 that passes through the city, the Hopewell Sheriff’s Office issues about 1,000 speeding tickets a month, according to the American Automobile Association. The advocacy group for motorists says the speed trap generates over $1.8 million annually for city government.
The General Assembly, at the urging of AAA-Mid Atlantic, stepped in to modify the possibility of speed traps, especially in Hopewell, by lowering the incentives for local police who practice “policing for profit.” The majority of those receiving tickets in Hopewell were from out of state and unlikely to return to contest their tickets.
Reporter Sean Korsgaard has a detailed explanation in the Times-Dispatch piece of the speed trap legislation that takes effect July 1.