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New Hov Law

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If you think you'll sneak into Virginia's High Occupancy Vehicle lanes without having the correct number of people in the car, you may want to think again.

 

Stiffer fines went into effect July 1, along with points on your driver's license.

 

"There are a lot of companies that will pay the fines to make sure their employees will get to work on time, but those points are assessed directly to the driver," Virginia State Police Sgt. Wallace Bouldin tells WTOP's Kristi King as she rode along with him during a Thursday morning sting.

 

Bouldin says the excuse that the restrictions were not in effect at the time you got on the highway won't work if you're pulled over by a trooper.

 

"If you're in there when the lane restrictions come in effect, you will get a ticket," he says.

 

While a first offense will only cost you $50 in fines and $39 in court costs, fines for a second offense have doubled from $100 to $200. A third offense is no longer a $250 fine. It's $500 and three points on your driving record.

 

A fine for a fourth offense is $1,000, up from $500. It also comes with three points.

 

"When you are convicted of an HOV violation, the court notifies DMV, which posts the conviction to your driving record where it remains for five years," says Marc Copeland of Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles, in a news release.

 

Points on your driving record may lead to increased insurance costs.

 

Drivers who accumulate 12 points can lose their licenses.

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Guest B.D.

Be advised that, unless there has been a change in the law that I am not aware of, anyone riding a motorcycle may legally use any HOV lane at any time.

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Guest Michael

I couldn't find the specific law 33.1.46.2. Does it address a roadster which can only hold 2 people. Is it not a high occupancy vehicle by the fact it can only hold 2 people. The tropper said 3 or more people but the sign says High Occupancy Vehicle also. Which part of this applies. Do I have a case?

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Guest Mark S.

I couldn't find the specific law 33.1.46.2. Does it address a roadster which can only hold 2 people. Is it not a high occupancy vehicle by the fact it can only hold 2 people. The tropper said 3 or more people but the sign says High Occupancy Vehicle also. Which part of this applies. Do I have a case?

 

You'll find 33.1.46.2 in the Code of Virginia at Click Here. It is quite long and you may not have the patience to go through it. Remember that it is the code of this state, meaning that you have to go through every single word if you are looking to get off on a technicality.

 

If you were driving a vehicle that is not permitted to drive in HOV lanes, it does not matter how many people that vehicle can hold. If you check the VDOT website, it will tell you that the size of your vehicle does not have an impact on the enforcemenet of these laws. Say you're driving a Fiat. If it can't hold more than two people, and you're in an HOV-3 lane, that's a problem. Again, the occupancy limit of the vehicle does not matter.

 

As for the meaning of "High Occupancy Vehicle," it depends on whatever VDOT says. Don't go by what the word "high" means. Whatever the signs on the road tell you is what goes. Refer to the Virginia Code for reference on this. Just because your car couldn't take more people doesn't mean that you're off.

 

I am sorry, but it sounds like you won't be able to get off on the roadster thing. Look for something else to use as a defense.

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