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Old 05-12-2011, 09:16 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,489 times
Reputation: 10

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I received an HOV Violation (first offense) for using I-66W from DC to Dulles because I exited off 66 to grab some food on my way to the airport. The officer said you cannot exit, that if you are going to the airport, you must stay on the whole time. There was a police trap right off the exit, which is how they got me.

Does anyone know if this is legit? I didnt see anything on the DOT website saying this is not allowed, and I dont know why this would be a rule as long as you are going to the airport. I had my airline receipt printed out, but he didn't care.

Should I contest, or is it a lost cause.

Any advice?

Thanks
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:23 AM
 
518 posts, read 782,270 times
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That seems to be a tough one. The cop pulled you over because technically you were using that stretch of road to go to the restaurant with a trip to the airport after the meal. They can be big sticklers for these type of technicalities. I don't know what your chances of getting out of this one would be.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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This is very confusing (to me, at least). 66 does not go all the way to Dulles. HOV on 66 has no restrictions on exiting at any ramp. After Falls Church, traffic on 66 headed to Dulles would take the Dulles Toll Rd/Airport Access Rd (267). Travelers taking the Toll Road to places like Reston exit wherever they need to. They aren't going to the airport. Travelers going to the airport take the airport lane and I don't think there's a way to exit before the airport when going westbound. Where was the exit?

Did you drive all the way to the airport, head eastbound and exit? That can get you a ticket because it's a technique some drivers use to avoid paying the toll by traveling on the toll-free airport road when in fact they are commuting home ("doubling back").

I would think that proof of airport business (the fact you had a ticket for a flight that day) would be enough to dismiss the violation, but I'm sure others on the forum who travel those roads regularly and can speak more authoritatively than I.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:35 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,489 times
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Sorry, I should have clarified. I was on 66 inside the beltway so had not gotten to the 267 Access Road. I took exit 71 (Glebe Rd) and the police were waiting off the exit. My plan was to get my food, and get back on 66 to continue to the airport.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,170,789 times
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That is a tough call..... Because technically - you were in violation since you were using 66 for something other than going to the airport but at the same time you had a ticket going to the airport...hmmmmm.... I wonder how it would be if you were picking up someone who was also going to the airport....

So, I just went to the VDOT site to see if they could clarify things...

Motorists traveling to and from Dulles International Airport on business are permitted to use I-66 inside the Beltway during HOV hours.

This is the only guidance so, based on this - I would say that you might be stuck with this ticket. You need to be going to IAD traveling in the lanes you were traveling in at the time (inside beltway on 66). You got off the exit to get food in essence abusing the use of 66 since you ONLY should have been using it to go to the airport.

I know it sounds crazy....but that's my take on it from the little guidance lifted. There don't seem to be any and/or, buts, or ifs.

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes - Rules and FAQs
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:57 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,320,304 times
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Once there was an intermediate destination, you had two trips. One to the restaurant, then one to the airport. Not allowed to use 66 for the restaurant part, even if you were already on it with legal intention when the intermediate stop was planned.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:02 AM
 
5,330 posts, read 6,120,605 times
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Thanks for the clarification. I didn't even know about the HOV exemption for airport travelers on inside-the-Beltway 66.

Agree, a tough one, because nothing I see mentions a restriction like that. "Ticketed passengers are exempt from HOV restrictions" is the basic rule, so I guess it's up to interpretation whether a person in route to the airport can interrupt the trip. Judges tend to favor the police and the "to and from the airport" language gives them the leeway to let the ticket stand.

I'd sure be irritated that the cop, when realizing you weren't a genuine HOV scofflaw, didn't just let you know of the restriction and let you get back on 66 without a ticket.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:25 AM
 
206 posts, read 400,134 times
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I'd fight it. Unless the law specifically only authorizes travelers going to Dulles via 267, it shouldn't matter. You were on your way to the airport, and part of the journey included I-66, as you are legally allowed to do. Even if you hadn't stopped for food, why shouldn't you be allowed to go to Dulles via Glebe to Old Dominion to 193, to Rt 7 to 28, to Dulles? Circuitous, but as far as I know not illegal.

The fact that you had proof of travel and they ticketed you anyway really irks me.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
989 posts, read 2,466,785 times
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Ooooh- I like guyincognito's argument! You WERE using I-66 to access the airport but you decided to get off to take an alternate route (irrelevant that you got food). Depending on exactly how the law is written, you mau have a good point!
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:59 AM
 
3,552 posts, read 5,545,030 times
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Exactly how hungry were you?
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