Drivers ticketed during rush hour for improper passing on the shoulder

Drivers ticketed during rush hour for improper passing on the shoulder

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Three dozen drivers were ticketed during the Wednesday morning commute in Glen Allen after police say they were driving on the shoulder in order to get to a turn lane.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit for Henrico County Police conducted a check at Staples Mill Road and Springfield Road after receiving numerous complaints.

"A lot of the people don't want to wait for the right turn lane,” said Lt. Rob Netherland. “So, what they'll do is they'll drive up the shoulder of the roadway where there is no actual turn lane based on the markings."

Video captured from another driver on the road shows eight vehicles pulled off to the side as officers spoke to the drivers.

Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. officers ticketed 36 drivers for improper passing on the shoulder.

“This one is a little higher than in the past,” Netherland said. “Usually the officers, you hate to say it, they’re in the upper teens and sometimes in the 20s, so this was a pretty big number this time.”

The road these vehicles were turning right onto is a heavily traveled road.

“This particular section where Springfield Road is, is a cut through to get to the back of the Innsbrook area where there are a lot of businesses,” Netherland said. “So, it is a way to get to some of those locations.”

However, the improper passing on the shoulder isn’t just a rush hour problem. While NBC12 was at the intersection a crew saw numerous cars driving on the shoulder to get to the right turn lane.

"We get this complaint routinely here at Staples Mill Road at the intersection of Springfield and Mountain,” Netherland said.

It’s why officers periodically do checks to enforce the rules of the road.

However, the design of the right turn lane is also a concern for some drivers. Officers said they've gotten complaints regarding how short the lane is, but in the end it’s up to VDOT to make changes.

A spokeswoman for VDOT said Henrico County submitted a SMART SCALE application for the 2020 fiscal year regarding Springfield Road improvements.

“All SMART SCALE applications undergo a scoring process to identify which project will receive funding and prioritize them to make the best use of limited tax dollars,” Bethanie Glover said. “This application was not selected by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) for funding during this round of SMART SCALE.”

Administrators with VDOT reached out to its traffic signals team to see if timing adjustments could be made to provide a longer green light cycle for drivers.

“Our crews are also looking at the intersection to see if any pavement marking adjustments can be made,” Glover said.

"If you know the traffic is going to be that bad and it is consistently, then as much as you hate to say it, you're going to have to change your behavior a little bit, so that you're not impatient,” Netherland said. “Do I have to leave a little earlier? Do I have to allow more time, that sort of stuff.”

Netherland said they have had some crashes at the intersection in the past, but encourage drivers to obey the markings on the roadway.

VDOT encourages anyone with questions or concerns to reach out to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-367-7623 or visit their website.

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