In one of the more comical moments in local news, WTKR’s Investigative Reporter Margaret Kavanagh got a ticket for speeding on State Route 13 in Eastville and started asking questions about how many tickets are written and how much money is being generated. Of course, the News 3 Investigative Team cast their gaze on the Eastville Police, inferring that the town was running a speed trap as a way to capture funds.
This writer understands the frustration. Sometimes you’re not paying attention, and you look down and notice you are traveling at 130 mph. Rut-roh!
Nobody likes to get a ticket, but let’s face it, issuing speeding tickets makes the roads safer–this is a perspective often held by law enforcement and traffic safety proponents. It seems every day we read about a major accident on Route 13. Drivers using 13 as a north/south travel thoroughfare treat it like it’s Interstate 95, but it’s not–there are stores, driveways, school buses, and local traffic. Driving 75 or 80 on this road creates a dangerous scenario.
The rationale behind strict enforcement of speed limits is rooted in the belief that ticketing acts as a deterrent, encouraging drivers to adhere to posted speed limits and consequently reducing the likelihood of accidents and improving overall road safety.
By penalizing speeding behavior, authorities aim to send a message to drivers about the importance of adhering to speed limits, which are set based on safety considerations for specific road conditions. The hope is that this enforcement will lead to a change in behavior, encouraging drivers to operate their vehicles at safer speeds.
Moreover, proponents argue that by enforcing speed limits and issuing tickets, law enforcement can address reckless driving habits that contribute significantly to traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. By holding drivers accountable for their speed-related actions, the aim is to create a safer driving environment for everyone on the road.
Eastville Police Chief Rob Stubbs is also the Town Administrator told the News 3 Investigative Team:
“The critics that say ‘policing for profit,’ do not have any understanding of the Virginia Law or how Virginia has decided to help fund Law Enforcement,” Stubbs said in a statement to News 3. “Many large departments fund positions with local safety enforcement fines just like small towns do.”
“That is following the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Town of Eastville Police Department only stops vehicles that are breaking the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as a matter of fact we are only stopping vehicles that are breaking those laws by a wide margin.”
Some critics highlight potential downsides of overreliance on ticketing, such as concerns about revenue generation, the impact on lower-income individuals, and questions about whether strict enforcement alone is sufficient to address broader road safety issues.
Ultimately, issuing speeding tickets generally contributes to making our roads just a little bit safer.