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Police Gear Up for ‘HOV Awareness Day’

by ARLnow.com June 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm 3,669 31 Comments

HOV violators are due for an unpleasant commute tomorrow.

The Arlington County Police Department is partnering with Virginia State Police and other local law enforcement agencies to conduct a “Capitol Region HOV Awareness Day.” Officers will be conducting “saturation patrols” during the morning and evening rush hours in an effort to boost enforcement of High Occupancy Vehicle laws on I-395, I-66 and other local highways.

Two HOV Awareness Day operations last year resulted in police issuing more than 2,300 summonses and arresting two fugitives.

Authorities released the following press release about the operation this evening.

Virginia and Maryland law enforcement agencies are partnering June 14, 2011, to conduct another “Capitol Region HOV Awareness Day.”

The comprehensive traffic-safety enforcement operation will involve High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) saturation patrols by Maryland State Police, Virginia State Police, Alexandria Police, Arlington County Police,
Fairfax County Police and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA PD).

Virginia law enforcement will be targeting HOV violators on Interstates 66, 95, 395, and the Dulles Toll Road. Maryland State Police will be conducting its HOV enforcement efforts on Interstate 270 and Route 50.

During both morning and evening rush hours, law enforcement will be utilizing moving and stationary enforcement methods to detect and deter HOV violators. Police will be adjusting their enforcement methods throughout the operation in order to prevent traffic backups and added congestion.

With the increased presence of troopers and officers on the highways, motorists are reminded of Virginia’s “Move Over” law. The “Move Over” law requires motorists to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously passing emergency personnel stopped out on the road.

Two multi-state HOV enforcement operations were conducted in May and July of 2010 and yielded a combined total of 1,669 HOV violations. The one-day initiatives also resulted in more than 2,300 summonses and arrests for other violations and offenses, to include the arrests of two fugitives.

  • KArlington

    How about they stop people posing as HOV drivers with 2 people in the car because of a child in the back seat…who cannot drive and therefore their presence in the car does nothing to mitigate single-driver congestion.

    • CarsSuck

      +1000. Soccer Mom’s shouldn’t get a free pass.

    • chris

      So how would you count people. My mother doesn’t drive, does she count?

      • PL25rd

        @ chris – agreed! My husband doesn’t drive (he’s blind) – are the police supposed to ask the people in the passengers’ seats for driver’s licenses, and ticket for an HOV violation if they don’t have one? Kind of absurd.

  • HOV Poser

    Thanks for the heads up! Looks like I’ll be taking my daughter to daycare tomorrow so they can’t pull me over. 🙂

    • Me too!


  • TuesdaysChild

    “Violator” is a mean word.

    Can we just be “undocumented” drivers on the HOV lanes?

    • doodly


  • MB

    A shame they didn’t go with a Don’t Drive Like a Douchebag Awareness Day during the power outage yesterday.

    Protip: when all of the stop lights at an intersection are out? You don’t get to blow through it at speed. You treat it as a four way stop.

    • Maria

      If they could have Don’t Drive Like a Douchebag Awareness Day every day, I’d be a much happier driver.

      • Skeptical


    • Max

      If they had don’t like a douchebag day, no one would be allowed to drive.

      • Maria

        Speak for yourself. I, for one, am an excellent driver…


  • wat

    I wish that the hybrid tags only counted for 1 person, not automatic HOV privilege.

    I hate seeing 2 out of 3 cars on 395 HOV3 only having 1 person in them. 2 of 3 of those being hybrids, the other is an HOV violator.

    • BerryBerryCold

      I hate the “hybrid” SUVs that get worse fuel millage than most run of the mill sedans. They get special privileges twice in Arlington: A discount on their car tax and the ability to use hov lanes.

      • CarsSuck

        Hybrid SUVs…. that’s like going to McDonalds, ordering a supersize big mac meal and a diet coke.

      • Indeed. Why not give the exemption to small diesels like the VW Jetta or Golf that get 45+ MPG city? You can argue the full diesel issues, but those engines and cars last a lot longer than gas or electrics, so they should be considered at least as sustainable.

    • Max

      Hybrids purchased after 2004 or so don’t qualify for the HOV exemption in Virginia. Most states are revoking HOV privileges for all hybrids.

      • BerryBerryCold

        Not true on 66 at least. I see plenty of hybrids with clean fuel plates driving on 66, past cops or troopers stationed on the side or the on/off ramps.

        • Max

          Actually, 100% true. Virginia hasn’t revoked HOV privileges for those cars that were given the right years ago.

        • Max

          Meh, I was kinda mostly correct. Here are the regulations:


          • Westover

            This is really the page you want. Notice that Hybrids like Tahoes and Suburbans are not on the list, but even with one additional person on board they would be providing far greater advantages over a single person in a Prius, yet no 2 person exemption provided for them in HOV3. The system is not fair, but I guess it is reasonable.

  • BerryBerryCold

    That’s some Orwellian double speak.

    Awareness as in open your wallet.

    • doodly

      Some people are too dense to be aware until it costs them something.

  • Jack

    Why do they announce this ahead of time? Why don’t the announce “Tomorrow is Catch Burgler Day”?

  • Shane

    There’s no benefit to the police doing this without warning. All the stories that come out will be about the gridlock from people getting pulled over by surprise. Not to mention you might by accident pull over a well-connected lobbyist or media type, or a member of Congress, or someone who can directly threaten your funding in retribution.

    You announce the “crackdown”, and you get fluffy coverage on Fox-5 news, meet your quota totals via the fools who didn’t hear about this, and give fair warning to the important people so they can arrange a driver to take them back and forth tomorrow morning.

    • Maria

      I agree with your point, but couldn’t they accidentally pull over the lobbyist/media type/member of Congress any other day? What does that have to do with this?

      • Joe

        Oh, they’ll get off with a “warning”. But you don’t want many of those to occur. So you get the word out, and you share it with various centers of influence in the region so that chauffered transportation, business trips, “working from home”, and other arrangements can be made.

  • Pingback: Police Catch HOV Violators During Commute | Sander Lees()

  • mr. Ed

    They should be out there everyday… i see cheaters all the time..

  • Prepare for “traffic jam saturation” today with all those cops on the road stopping cars.


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