The Washington Post

Officers nab 116 ‘backtrackers’ at Dulles Airport

The Dulles Toll Road. (Jahi Chikwendiu/TWP) The Dulles Toll Road. (Jahi Chikwendiu/TWP)

Officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority last month launched an aggressive campaign to catch folks who’ve been dodging tolls on the Dulles Toll Road by cutting through the airport — a practice known as “backtracking.”

Airport officials were very public about their intentions, but it seems as if some folks missed the news.  Officers cited a total of 50 drivers during the first crackdown, Nov. 13. They were out again Nov. 21 and nabbed 66 drivers. So much for the deterrent effect, eh?

Officials at the airports authority say they’ll continue to watch the roads around the airport but may not be so public about enforcement actions. So “backtrackers” — you aren’t off the hook.

With tolls expected to rise on the Dulles Toll Road in January to $2.50 from $1.75 at the main toll plaza, more drivers may be tempted to drive airport roads to avoid paying the higher rates. But they might consider this: Backtracking is considered a moving violation with fines that start at $92 in addition to a penalty of three points on the person’s drivers license.

The average number of drivers cited in a year is about 1,000.


Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.



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