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...