Thursday, May 6, 2010


On the Beltway that goes all around Washington D.C., yesterday was HOV Enforcement Day.  Many of the scofflaws who exploit the commute in darkness during the winter months were shocked to find out that in daylight, officers can nail them.

And it's expensive.  According to the VDOT website, this is how it adds up:

  • First offense $125
  • Second offense $250 plus 3 points on your driving record
  • Third offense $500 plus 3 points
  • Fourth offense $1000 plus 3 points
There are some exceptions to the HOV rules -- of course emergency vehicles and motor cycles. And there's one more:

In Virginia, alternative fuel vehicles with Clean Fuel plates can use the HOV lanes without the minimum number of passengers required for other vehicles.

This is crazy!  Let me disclose:  I have a hybrid vehicle, so I should be fine with this. But I'm not. It creates a conflict with the stated purpose of the HOV lanes -- Again, VDOT:  

The intent of restricting the number of occupants is to encourage ridesharing, which in turn reduces the number of vehicles on the highway. With fewer vehicles, the HOV lanes operate generally with less congestion and are much faster than non-HOV lanes.

But all the hybrid cars I see around here (mostly Toyota Prius') are occupied by one person. At least 2 of my neighbors have purchased a Prius in the last couple of years specifically so they could go HOV and not have to carpool. So, where they used to carpool, thus reducing the number of cars on the road, now they each drive their own Prius.

Is anyone paying attention to how selfish this is? The exemption was extended through next summer (2011). It will be interesting to see if the road hogs get the governor to roll over on this again.

It sure isn't reducing congestion.  How many clean fuel vehicles on the road does it take to offset what you've saved by getting one 'regular' car off the road.

If I were a snarky person, I might observe that the people in this area who work for Congress and lobbying firms are firmly committed to the belief that laws limiting one's selfish behavior are clearly written for "other" people.  But I'm not a snarky person...normally. And I'm not even liberal - but my neighbors who bailed out of carpools in order to drive themselves are...


Anonymous said...

I think, I'm not sure, we have that same rule in our HOV lane here and I've never understood it. It makes absolutely no sense to me at all. I'm so with ya on this one :)

Jingle said...

I quit politics,
Good Luck!

Janean said...

we have hovs in atlanta...we drove according to the rules & were not too happy with those who were *renegades.* LOL. comment. *wink*

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Happy Mother's Day,my friend!
You look BEAUTIFUL, then and NOW!
You are such a wonderful friend and MOTHER!
May this Mother's Day be one of the best with more to come in years!

Mary said...

I was going to comment that if more people with the Prius are driving in HOV, that would make the "regular" lanes less congested. Then, after thinking about it, I realized it wouldn't, because the people they were carpooling with are still driving their cars in the regular lanes. So, yes, they are doubling the traffic, aren't they?

JillAileenJones said...

I finally got on and shared my recipes today to the questions from Random Dozen! You can go over and get them now.
Hope you have a great day!