City introduces the $325 speeding ticket

As the traffic safety slogan says, "speed kills." But thanks to an ordinance passed by City Council yesterday, speed can also put a serious dent in your bank account.

As part of a city initiative to slow traffic on problem roads, Council adopted a resolution that tacks on an additional $200 to any speeding ticket drivers get on Old Lynchburg Road (City line to JPA), Avon Street (City line to Monticello Avenue), and Altavista Avenue (Monticello Avenue to Avon Street). Originally, traffic engineers had wanted six streets covered by the new ordinance, but city traffic engineer Jeanie Alexander said Council had fielded complaints about the program from some areas and decided to approve just three streets. Those problem roads not included are Rugby Avenue ( Rugby Road to Bypass), Elliott Avenue (Monticello Avenue to Ridge Street) and Brandywine Drive (Hydraulic Road to Yorktown Drive).

According to Alexander, traffic data showed speed problems on all six roads. On Avon Street, where the posted speed limit is 35 mph, drivers are averaging about 51 mph; on Altavista Avenue, where the speed limit is 25 mph, drivers are averaging about 41 mph; and on Old Lynchburg Road, where the speed limit is between 25 and 35 mph, drivers are averaging 41 mph.

Alexander says the program will begin September 1 and be re-evaluated after a six-month trial period. Signs announcing the additional fine will also be posted.

"By increasing the penalty, we're hoping to decrease the speed on those roads," says Alexander, who admits that city traffic engineers don't know if the plan will work. She cites a similar program in Lynchburg, which reduced traffic speed by 8 percent, "but that's only a 2-to-3 miles-an-hour reduction," she says.

Obviously, the program is an attempt to slow traffic down by pinching people where it hurts. Traffic tickets have a set fine of between $50-$75, with an additional $5 per mile over the speed limit. That means if you get caught going 45-mph on Avon Street, with its 35 mph speed limit, you could get a $325 speeding ticket. Ouch!

9 comments

wait till poor people start getting tickets

I'm sick of watching every single car roll down Rugby at 40+ mph when the limit is 25mph. Why did the village waste money to set up a display just to show drivers their speed.

Mount a damn camera on it and start sending $300 tickets. I'd be willing to bet that would bring in more money to the city than CTS does every year.

Or just let them zip along. Will that extra speed matter when the accidently run down a kid?

I actually don't think the City Council officially approved this, as it's up for vote at the next meeting.

I was born in Hookville a half century ago, Keswick boyhood, but I now live in Texas. I visit on occassion. And laws like this are why I live a thousand miles away in what could be a different country.
We do it a lot differently here in the Lone Star State. When we find that 75% of the people are going faster than the posted speed recommendation then we RAISE THE SPEED. In San Antonio last year they raised San Pedro from 45 to 60 because everyone was going 60+. About 60 miles west of me, the speed limit is 80 MPH on the interstate. Most 2-lane state roads in the county are 70 mph during the day. If I come up on a slower car or truck and they are a locals, they'll move over and let me pass, doesn't matter they're going 68 and I'm going faster. Traffic engineers maintain that speed limits should be established according to the 85th percentile of free flowing traffic. This means the limit should be set at a level at or under which 85 percent of people are driving, studies have shown that the 85th percentile is the safest possible level at which to set a speed limit. Slow is safer, MYTH - federal and state studies have consistently shown that the drivers most likely to get into accidents in traffic are those traveling significantly below the average speed.

I suggest that everyone that gets an enhanced value ticket take it to court and tie up as much time and personnel as possible. Go the National Motorists Association [motorists.org] and get the excellent ticket fighting materials they have. Demand trials, get postponements, challenge the way the ticket was presented - cost them $1000 to pursue a $325 ticket. This is a law that ought to get challenged and out to COST the city plenty to enforce.

PS> There are several high-end radar detectors that can't be discovered by the radar-detector detector and I run laser protection too.

Max,
Old Lynchburg, Altavista and Avon are not exactly highways. They are narrow, residential streets. They frequently have vulnerable pedestrians, cyclists and children using them. In the case of these streets slower definitely means safer. It's not like they are wide open highways that are safe to crack open the throttle on say, a bright red Triumph motorcycle. Of course the other poster is correct;it won't matter what the fine is if the police don't enforce the law.
Cordially,
Kevin

That's not the least of it.

http://ourvalley.org/news.php?viewStory=831

you have to pay your civil fines, too!

For instance, an offender charged and convicted of reckless driving for going 20 mph over the speed limit would pay the traffic fines and court costs, plus be accessed a $1,000 civil fee. One-third of the civil fee would have to be paid the day of the conviction. The rest would be paid in two equal installments over the next two years. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for collecting the final two payments

..

Many of the civil fees do address alcohol as was the intent of the ââ?¬Å?Dangerous Driver Law” when it originated, but the fees also may be accessed for such daily traffic violations as rolling through a stop sign (a fee of $300), or impeding traffic--a charge that's possible when stopping in front of your mailbox to get the mail. The civil fee alone for a conviction on the latter is $300.

Play an R or X rated movie on the van DVD player and if it is seen by someone in another vehicle, a driver can be charged and fined with having an obscene video image seen from outside the car. The civil fee is $300.
The new law takes effect July 1.

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I don't remember this even being *discussed* in any papers, and only smaller ones so far have picked up this story. This is ridiculous.

to honorable blogger and friend Kevin,
No matter the type of street, roadway, freeway, country road this action is arbitrary and and contrary to good design policies. To raise speed fines without a traffic speed study could violate federal laws and if the speed study is more than 5 years old for those roads it is a reason to appeal ANY ticket given on those roads especially any radar ticket.

Max

Kevin's right in that those streets demand low speed limits - it's a common sense thing that frankly doesn't require any studies. They're residential, with lots of kids, bikes, etc. But Max is also right - the city takes arbitrary action contrary to good design policies and basic common sense all the time (mall crossings, pavers with brittle mortar, the Omni), so does this surprise ANYBODY?

It's only effective if the city actually enforces it. If Old Lynchburg Road is such a problem spot, then how come I've seen a cop out there maybe once in the past month during my daily commute? They've got the perfect place to hang out by the park.

I don't know what the numbers are, but in the two years I've lived here I've become convinced that C-ville and Albemarle cops must not ticket for traffic offenses. People run red lights like it's going out of style, and it's not uncommon for me to get tailgated by someone doing 70+ on 29 north near the Greene line.