12 ON YOUR SIDE: Officer assigned to Brook and Hilliard intersection

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Don't panic if you get quizzed by a police officer while you wait for the light at the intersection of Brook Road and Hilliard Avenue. An officer is out to break bad driving habits and educate drivers.

The intersection has been assigned its own officer who will also be writing tickets. This after a complaint that the intersection is dangerous and confusing.

Traffic rolls at steady clip coming from several directions at Brook Road and Hilliard Avenue. Neighbor Roger Hanson believes two traffic lights on a one lane road is confusing drivers.

"Put a sign up there. 'No right turn on red' or a sign to indicate its only one lane," Hanson said. "There would be no use for them to double up on you at the light."

Instead of pulling up behind the vehicle already waiting at the light, some people pull around and make additional turn lanes.

"Some small vehicles, they'll try to make four lanes out of it. One in and three out," he explained. "If you pull up like this truck is, people will try to squeeze by you on the right. If you pull further to the right, then people will come up on the left. Anybody coming this way the lane is restricted."

Too impatient to file through the light one by one or maybe they just don't know the law?

"The violation could be reckless driving because they got two vehicles in the same lane of travel. Or once they cross that solid line they can actually be charged with improper passing or improper crossing a solid line," said Lt. A.J. Gordon with Henrico Police.

The officer assigned to checkout Hanson's concerns will be watching another problem, customers entering the busy intersection from a business parking lot.

"See these people stopped now, and anybody coming out of this car lot, they think they got the right of way," Hanson said.

"They can't just come out anytime they feel like it. They have to look at the light sequence. So they can enter that intersection safely," Gordon added.

Police acknowledge the potential for crashes. There's one lane on one side of Hilliard Avenue and five lanes on Hilliard Road on the opposite side, but stats show only one accident in the past year.

"We agree that his concerns appear to be valid and we'll evaluate it and figure out if there is a true problem there and if it is, we'll address it," Gordon said.

VDOT owns the intersection. But police can recommend lane markings, signage, or light sequence changes. Mainly, it wants to teach people the proper ways to enter the intersection.

The study will take about 30 days. Meantime, you can call 328-2573, extension 2223 if you have a traffic issue in Henrico.

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