Dozens of Speeding Tickets From Route 501 in Question

Lynchburg, VA - If you've driven through 501 near Wiggington Road lately, you've probably noticed the city of Lynchburg has raised the speed limit for the construction zone.

The city engineer's office says the old 25 mph speed limit was too low, putting dozens of speeding tickets into question.

Back in September, ABC 13 News followed Lynchburg police officers cracking down on people driving faster than the 25 mph speed limit, but it turns out it should have been 35 mph all along.

"You just can't get around without adding almost 15-20 minutes to your trip," said a driver.

On Route 501 between Old Forest and Boonsboro Road, drivers have hit another delay.

"We've written 63 speeding tickets in that area," said Lt. Danny Marks with the Lynchburg Police Department.

Two months after construction began, so did questions about the speed limit. The director of public works says a driver contesting their speeding ticket, asked to see the site survey and learned it hadn't been done.

Site surveys are normally conducted before construction to look at the impact it will have on traffic flow and to set a new speed limit.

"In hindsight yes, we wish we had done it before the project started," said Dave Owen, the director of public works.

City engineers eventually conducted a site survey and dozens of tickets later told the police department they were raising the speed limit.

Police officers are sharing the confusion in court.

"When they get to court, letting the judge know that hey this should have been a 35 mile per hour zone not a 25," said Marks.

Even if you've already been convicted under the old speed zone, defense attorneys say you probably have time to appeal it.

"You still have 21 days under Virginia Law to do a motion to set aside basically," said Andrew Childress, a lawyer.

But instead of a legal fight, drivers will continue the daily fight to get from point a to point b.

"Plan it a little bit better so that we can come in and out and not be hung up," said a driver.

Construction out on 501 continues. It's expected to take a total of four months and wrap up in the beginning of next year.

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