Speeding on post becoming a concern for Fort Belvoir Police Department
May 10, 2013
The Fort Belvoir Police Department has issued 526 speeding tickets since Jan. 1, and the department is becoming concerned with not only the regularity of the violations, but their nature.
Of the tickets that have been issued, 26 of them are for speeds that exceeded 21 mph over the posted speed limit. Two tickets have also been issued for reckless driving.
"Speeding has always been a problem on the installation," said Capt. Steve Galay, Fort Belvoir Police Department. "But, we have 26 that have been issued in the last four months where people are reaching speeds 21 mph over the speed limit, or greater, in a primarily residential installation."
Gunston Road, Belvoir Road and 9th Street are the only roadways on post that have two lanes of traffic moving in each direction, and that's where someone might expect the violations to be occurring. However, the fact that some of the infractions are occurring in residential areas is troubling to Galay.
"Yes, Belvoir Road, Gunston Road and 9th Street were expanded," said Galay. "But, the majority of the installation is residential or one lane in each direction. So, there's no need for people to be driving at the speeds they are driving."
According to the Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information System, six demerit points shall be assigned to reckless drivers, or drivers found speeding 20 or more miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
Servicemembers need to keep in mind just because they have an out-of-state drivers license doesn't mean they are exempt from demerit points on their license, according to Galay.
Moving violations on post will go on the servicmembers' home state driver's license, and a record of the violation will be kept by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
"All driving behavior on the installation is reported to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Your driver's license can be suspended by Virginia, even if you have a license in another state," said Galay. "What that means is, you may be good to drive in your state, but the Commonwealth of Virginia has suspended your privilege to drive a motor vehicle in (Virginia)."
Galay also said servicemembers shouldn't chance driving on a suspended license because, if caught, they will be doing jail time.
"The Commonwealth of Virginia will convict you of driving on a suspended license, which is a Class One Misdemeanor," said Galay. "The penalty for a Class One Misdemeanor is up to 12-months in jail and a $2,500 fine. It includes an administrative suspension of your driving privilege for an additional 12 months."
A third conviction for driving on a suspended license in Virginia carries a minimum 10-day jail sentence that cannot be suspended or waived upon conviction, according to Galay.
"This occurrence (for a servicemember) will probably result in an Article 15," said Galay. "But, that's going to be based on a review by the Staff Judge Advocate and (the servicemember's) unit chain of command."