In Va., Baby Makes Two in Carpool Lanes

By Robert Thomson
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I'm writing in response to the mom from Fairfax who described her dismay, or amusement, at regularly being pulled over by Virginia state troopers for possible HOV-violations on Interstate 66 [Dr. Gridlock, June 12]. Apparently, the presence of her son in a child seat falls under the legal definition of HOV-2.

I'm not an automobile commuter but I'm pretty sure that if I were, I'd be annoyed at this Fairfax woman taking advantage of the loophole that allows a small child to count. I thought the point of HOV lanes was to reduce the number of cars on the road, thereby reducing pollution and congestion.

It seems pretty unlikely to me that this Fairfax mom's young son would be operating a vehicle were his mom not generously offering to carpool with him.

Perhaps it's time for the Virginia legislature to modify HOV rules so that only individuals of driving age count.

Jennifer Zydney


I understand the complaint. In fact, I've heard it from many readers who question whether the HOV rules match the carpooling, congestion-relief and environmental goals of the HOV program.

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