Letter – Stop speeding  on the JRB

Published 4:03 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Anyone who has to use the James River Bridge every day or even occasionally has seen this.

You are cruising along at the speed limit or maybe even keeping up with traffic at 63 mph, plus or minus a few, and all of a sudden a vehicle comes up behind you and darts into the other lane, just missing your bumper and the one he cut off in the other lane. He zips around you, and as soon as he has clearance, he cuts back in front of you and speeds away. A minute later you can’t even see him. He had to be going nearly 90. 

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It’s not the occasional driver going maybe 10 mph over the speed limit but these folks going 20 or 30 over the limit and cutting in and out of traffic to get ahead. This needs to stop before more people are killed. 

I recently heard of a device called a Flock Camera that takes a photo of the license plate. This could be tied to a radar detector and transmitted to a police car waiting at the end of the bridge where there is room to pull him over. I recommend four cameras, two looking toward the Isle of Wight side and two toward the Newport News side. 

This would provide “income” to both jurisdictions through the fines levied. The funds derived should be specifically designated to the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office and the Newport News Police Department.

I think an officer at each end would only take a few days or a week to put a stop to this dangerous practice. After that, the offender would get a summons in the mail for exceeding the speed limit or reckless driving. He could be given the option to show up at court or send in a fine big enough to get his attention. 


Joe Lupton