VIRGINIA - I-66 is a very popular route out of the District and into the Virginia suburbs – so popular that sometimes people ignore the rules and use the HOV lanes without paying.
On Thursday, Virginia State Police were out on the highway in force, looking for scofflaws looking to cheat the system.
Drivers using the HOV lanes inside the Beltway must have an EZ Pass Flex – and when there are two or more people in the car, the EZ Pass Readers will not charge the account if the switch on the pass is in the Flex position.
But some people are getting onto the highway alone behind the wheel and either intentionally or unintentionally failing to take the Flex switch off.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says that’s cheating because the EZ pass is not charging the driver’s account. So that’s what troopers are looking for.
As cars pass under the gantry where the readers are, troopers can see a signal that alerts them regarding the Flex Switch position. And if it’s on, and there’s only one person in the car, troopers will then get in behind the car and pull them over.
VDOT says this enforcement is necessary for keeping the lanes flowing with paying customers or drivers obeying the rules.