Did you know there’s legalized gambling right at Richmond International Airport? Here’s how you play:
Drive with the flow of traffic and get a speeding ticket, or obey posted speeds and risk getting rear-ended.
It’s a lose-lose proposition where the “house” always wins, but some gamblers enjoy that.
At Henrico County traffic court yesterday, the dedicated police officer who cited me recently for speeding (41 mph) at RIC had collected a room full of miscreants. He laid us all out before the judge like a fisherman displaying his prized catch of the day – worth $66 a head in court costs alone.
The charges weren’t always read, but I heard “Airport Drive” mentioned enough to realize that many of us had been caught in the same trap.
The judge was pretty good about reducing charges, but he didn’t seem interested in hearing any defense, so everyone was just pleading guilty and hoping for the best.
I’ve driven to the airport twice since the ticket. If you haven’t been there lately, be warned that the incoming speed limit on Airport Drive drops abruptly from 45 to 25. That’s when the game starts, and you have to play. The grounds continue to be a messy, unpredictable work in progress, so you can’t tell where the “dealer” in an unmarked car might be lurking.
If you obey the rules, you’ll frustrate other drivers who don’t realize you’re just trying not to lose. They’ll tailgate or pass you – probably while spouting words you’d rather not hear.
Approaching the terminal building, the speed limit drops to 15. At that point, you might be tempted to pull over, get out, and crawl the rest of the way because you’ll get there faster – but don’t. They’ll probably ticket you for that, too.