Northern Va. police to step up HOV lane enforcement

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In an effort to curb a practice that causes commuter frustration, police agencies in Northern Virginia will join forces Wednesday to ensure compliance with the HOV rules, authorities said.

Only last week, a state police HOV enforcement effort on Interstate 66 in Fairfax and Arlington counties resulted in driver receiving a ticket that carries a $1,000 fine, police said.

The $1,000 fine is imposed on fourth offenders of HOV laws. Earlier in the year, police had reported ticketing a four-time offender on a different road, but then said they had erred. However, on Thursday police said they had "double- and triple-checked," and were confident a $1,000 ticket had been issued this time.

HOV enforcement will be stepped up Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Interstates 66, 95 and 395, and the Dulles Toll Road. Virginia State Police will be joined inside the Capital Beltway by Arlington and Fairfax County officers and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, authorities said.

HOV lanes can save commuting time, and drivers who obey the rules have expressed frustration at those who do not.

HOV rules require at least three occupants on Interstates 95 and 395. For Interstate 66 and the toll road, the number is two, state police said. The first-offense fine, $125, doubles for successive offenses.

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