Hopewell was issuing 1,000 speeding tickets a month on 2-mile stretch of I-295

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.



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One thought on “Hopewell was issuing 1,000 speeding tickets a month on 2-mile stretch of I-295

  1. James N. Bridgeman says:

    This is NOT a speed trap. The posted speed is 70 and the traffic generally moves about 75. Hopewell is ticketing those doing 81 or better which is not “speeding” but “careless and reckless”. If they were to ticket speeders, they could easily write 5,000 tickets per month, instead of the current 1000. Frequently when I drive thru this area, Hopewell police are on duty, but have no-one stopped even though the traffic is moderate to heavy. Each of the vehicles that I have seen them pull over came past me doing about 85-90, weaving in and out of traffic, or both. Dangerous driving! Over the years they have almost eliminated local careless and reckless drivers, reduced the number of reckless Virginia drivers, and are now working on out-of-state drivers. I think AAA should applaud Hopewell’s efforts to make our interstates safer, not condem it as a “speed trap”.

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