Henrico County board considers speeding fine increase

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Short Pump speeders beware! If you plan on using Thamesford Way as a cut through between Three Chopt and Church Roads, you could soon face stiffer penalties.

The Henrico Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a measure to increase speeding fines on Thamesford Way by $200. The speed limit on this residential road is 25mph.

Resident Micky Ogburn has been living in this neighborhood for fifteen years and says the speeding has only gotten worse with the development on nearby West Broad.

"Oh!  People fly through the neighborhood," she said.

When the county last studied the area back in 2006, 85 percent of drivers were going an average of eight miles per hour above the speed limit. That's because drivers use the street as a cut through between Three Chopt and Church Roads.

"They're going to the other neighborhoods off of Three Chopt. Either that or the people on Church Road are cutting through to get to the retail development that's just to our east," said Ogburn.

It's a problem for this neighborhood filled with families with children.

"They play in the street. They ride their bikes. They walk to the pool," Ogburn said.

Diane Englekey has had some very close calls with her two sons, but one in particular sticks out in her mind. Her older son, then three years old, was playing with a ball and chased it into the street.

"I saw a car coming down the street and I kind of screamed at him but I didn't want to scare him I told him very firmly 'Connor, come here!'" Diane said.

She's hoping the increased fine will decrease speed. This is how it would work; say you're driving 40 miles per hour. That will be five dollars for every mile per hour over the speed limit, plus a sixty-six dollar court fee, bringing the grand total to $141. With this new fee, what was a $141 ticket becomes almost $350 worth of fines.

"I would hope that that would be a deterrent," said Diane.

If the board passes the increased fine Tuesday night and it doesn't curb speeding within six to eight months, the county could take more stringent measures, like putting in a speed hump.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.