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Ticketing on Halifax bridges called into question
SoVaNow.com / May 15, 2014Halifax Town Police Chief Kevin Lands came in for questioning Tuesday night over the department’s policy for ticketing speeders on the new Route 360 bridge into town.
Town Councilman Jack Dunavant, who led the exchange, pressed Lands to explain why his officers ticketed motorists who exceed the 35 mph limit on the 360 bridge, spanning the Banister River, but not those who exceed the same limit on the much-longer 501 bridge, which spans Banister Lake.
Lands said the discrepancy is due to the placement of the 35 mph speed limit signs. The sign at the 360 bridge is planted on the far end of the bridge, across the river from town. It signals the change in speed limit as motorists approach the bridge.
By contrast, the speed limit is posted on the town side of the Hwy. 501 bridge on the lake, he explained. For that reason, his officers don’t ticket motorists who break the 35 mph limit as they drive across the span.
Councilman Dennis Witt commented that he felt somewhat confused, noting that enforcement of the speed limit should be the same on both bridges leading into the town.
Council members asked Lands to take a closer look at exactly where the signs are located so the Town’s position on the speed limits can be clarified.
Addressing other traffic matters, Lands told Council members that a great emphasis will be placed on seat belt usage during the month of May. During a recent conference of law enforcement officers, Lands said it had been learned that seat belt usage in Halifax was far lower than that in other parts of the state. He said residents can expect to see more stops during the month to check on seat belt usage.
In his monthly report Lands noted that his department had issued 103 tickets for speeding, suspended, reckless driving or equipment violations for the month of March.
Earlier during their work session Council members were advised that the Farmers Market activities continue to grow with 24 vendors offering goods for sale. The market will hold its grand opening on June 21 with Friday night Jams starting on June 6.
Members were also advised that work on the access road leading to the black churches’ cemetery off Gatha’s Trail is progressing on schedule.
Mayor Dick Moore reminded Council members that four of the six will be up for re-election in November, as will he as Mayor. Council members up for re-election are Jack Dunavant and Dennis Witt, Kristie Johnson and Janice Powell. Moore said the candidates have until June 10 to qualify with the local Voter Registrar for the positions.
No citizen appeared to comment on the proposed lion FY2014-15 budget. The proposed budget is 8.36 percent or $133,254 lower than the current year’s amended budget, and includes an $11,000 contribution to the Halifax Library and another $12,000 contribution for a new fire department truck.
The budget calls for no increases in real estate or personal property taxes with the real estate tax rate remaining at 17.5 cents per $100 value and the personal property tax rate staying at $1.68 per $100 value.
Council is expected to finalize the proposed budget and to appropriate funds to support it during their next regular monthly meeting on June 10.
Council also approved a resolution calling for the Town to pay two percent and the employee three percent of the contribution rate to the Virginia Retirement System for the coming fiscal year.
Comments"During a recent conference of law enforcement officers, Lands said it had been learned that seat belt usage in Halifax was far lower than that in other parts of the state." Would it be relevant to know exactly how it was learned at a conference that seat belt usage was far lower in Halifax?
- By Just wondering on 05 / 15 / 14
CommentsWhen the speed limit was changed on 501 entering The Town of Halifax the speed limit signs were placed on the county side of the bridge and if I am correct it was later changed to the town side so heavy trucks and smaller under powered vehicles would have more distance to get their speed up before having to climb the long hill and to prevent having to brake so hard while coming down the hill to slow down. I would hope the speed limit on the 360 bridge will be changed for similar reasons.A few hundred or so feet of help for motorists will certainly be appreciated and will harm no one.
- By R W Anderson on 05 / 15 / 14
CommentsYes speed limit sign should be moved back to other side of bridge. It is just a speed trap, remember when the speed limit didn't change till the Jiffy store, it was 55 if I remember correctly. Also on the seatbelt enforcement, they have to pull you over for something else before they can ticket you for a seatbelt violation. This applies to adults only, you have to make sure your kids are buckled up, they can pull you is they see a child not wearing a seat belt. I feel that this selt belt law is just a way to get money, so they can pay for their new chargers and all the new equipment they got. When Martain was chief he used old deputy cars, I remember when the town only had one plymouth fury. Wish you could tell me why the cops get to drive a car home on the tax payer dime and we hard working stiffs have to pay county property tax, with some money going to the town for them to drive a car home.
- By allpoltical2 on 05 / 15 / 14
CommentsWhat happened to all the talk in this paper many months back? "Is Halifax turning into a speed trap" or something along those lines read the headlines. I think that should still be the focus here.
Everyone knows that Halifax Police love to stay tucked away in vegetation just to pilfer the good citizens of Halifax County. Some officers, not naming any names (18-54), seem to make a whole day of it. Oh well, its not like they have much else to do.
- By nwa on 05 / 15 / 14
CommentsAs I recall the Town Council hired this guy (Chief). Had a more qualified candidate that they decided to look over (local). Live with your mistake guys and girls or correct it. Let Lands go!!!!! Keep bringing in these guys that create problems from elsewhere???
- By Your Problem on 05 / 15 / 14
It's done for safety and your protection you ungrateful peons.
- By Bwahahahah! on 05 / 16 / 14
Pay your money to the state! Uncircumcised men in Swaziland are depending on you!
- By Nip Tuck on 05 / 16 / 14
CommentsChief Kevin Lands should be commended. He's just trying to make back the $57,600 in rent the genius money managers decided to spend for 3 years of Convergence Art Guild rent.
- By Clown Touncil on 05 / 16 / 14
- By Clown Touncil on 05 / 16 / 14
CommentsBwahahahah, we know thats whats the police think of its citizens. Big brother always knows best. Just shut up and pay your taxes or fines. Time to kick the bums out, that includes Chief Lands. Peons pay the dirtbags salaries. But I forget, he's had training................Yea right!!!!
- By Ungrateful Peon on 05 / 18 / 14
CommentsEveryone is aware that speed limits are set to help protect people but there will be no one pulling out in front of you, stopping to make a turn, or children playing on the bridge so what is the harm in having the speed limit at 55 MPH until you exit the bridge? (other than a few less tickets and fines)After all you will have to slow down to 35 mph, so it's not like you'll be driving 55 mph to the end and then drop to 35 mph instantly!Personally I have always wondered why the town limit signs were on the county side of the bridge, since the town did not pay for building it nor pay for it's maintenance.
- By R W Anderson on 05 / 22 / 14
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