RIC Airport Ruined 35 Years of Perfect Driving

By Karen

RIC Airport looks like new, but I wouldn’t call a bogus speed trap on its most baffling stretch of road an improvement.

The chic décor inside implies that Richmond is a welcoming, cosmopolitan place – but just get in your car and they’ll fleece you like you’re in Podunk, Nowhere.

My tale started last Friday when a weekend houseguest flew into RIC. Using the free 30 minutes of parking in the hourly lot, I met him in the terminal.

Leaving, we got stuck behind Mr. Pokey-Pants at the checkout gate, who dragged out my visit to exactly 31 minutes. The gatekeeper knew I was there on time, but she charged me $2 for that ONE extra minute anyway.

Petty, annoying, and unnecessary. But little did I know it could get worse. Much worse.

On Monday at noon, I returned to drop my guest off. On the straight, 2-lane stretch entering the airport with no other traffic in sight, I was cruising toward the terminal, trying to read the myriad conflicting, confusing signs that point in every direction and seem to change with every visit.

Suddenly, an unmarked black car pulled up behind me, lights flashing, and I got a ticket for doing 41 mph in a 25 mph “work zone.”


The officer’s demeanor over my “crime” was so grave, you’d think he’d seen body parts hanging out of my trunk.

The speed limit on that same road leaving the airport is 45 mph.

So 3 ½ decades of clean driving are down the toilet and I now have a court date – that’s my thanks for bringing business to RIC.

4 Responses to RIC Airport Ruined 35 Years of Perfect Driving

  1. Officer Chitterling says:

    I’m pretty sure the speed limit is 25 mph all the way down that entrance road, until it drops to 15. It’s lame, but the signs are there. Apparently they just don’t want vehicles barrelling towards the airport. I can’t imagine why.

  2. catsworking says:

    I saw where it drops to 15. It was right after I got ticketed. I guess at that point we’re all supposed to pull over and walk the rest of the way.

    Yeah, you’re right. After 35 years without causing an accident or getting a ticket, I was a real menace doing 41 mph with no traffic (or construction workers) around and needed to be stopped before I killed again. A simple scare and a warning never would have cut it.

  3. Officer Chitterling says:

    Tell it to the judge, city mouth.

  4. catsworking says:

    And comments like that are why so many people distrust law enforcement. I don’t happen to be one of them. I understand the frustration of trying to do your job with a resistant public.

    For the record, I’m a county mouth. I don’t dispute the fact that I was exceeding the posted speed limit and I expect to pay a fine. However, since it is a first offense and has the potential to increase my insurance rate (although I assume the 5 points I’ve earned as a good driver will offset it), I think the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

    Sitting in wait along the most confusing stretch of road at the airport where drivers are challenged to navigate a maze to the terminal smells like shooting fish in a barrel for fun and profit to me.

    If I had been doing 50 or 60 through there, it would have been obvious I wasn’t heeding any of the signs and I’d say throw the book at me. I deserve it. But doing 41 on a straight, 2-lane road with no other traffic OR construction going on?? Get real. If you’re supposed to be ensuring the public safety, it seems there are many more worthwhile spots to stake out.

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