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66 HOV Enforcement

Discussion in 'Community Carpool Connection' started by Genco, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. Genco

    Genco Member

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    All,

    I have been "conducting business" on airport grounds by visiting the gas station in Dulles Airport for 15 years and then accessing the Dulles Access Road and 66 for my commute into DC. Well after 15 years the party may finally be over. Over a month ago I was stopped on 66 by a friendly Virginia State Trooper who informed me that buying coffee, gas or other items did not allow me to then ride on 66. I did not pay the fine of $125 - no points right away since I wanted to show up in court and see what my chances were with the Traffic Court Judge to avoid the fine. Strike One - The Trooper showed up (which I figured he would) Strike Two - They changed the "rules/law" regarding the wording of using 66 during HOV times. Strike Three - unsympathetic Judge even with no points on license.

    Well basically now there is no chance of avoiding the fine since they have re-written the rules regarding HOV usage on 66 to be as follows:

    "2. Motorists traveling to and from Dulles International Airport to go to the airport to board a flight or to pick someone up at the airport are permitted to use I-66 inside the Beltway (I-495) during HOV hours. Motorists traveling to or from Dulles International Airport are not exempt from HOV restrictions on I-66 outside the Beltway (I-495). You are not permitted to use I-66 inside the beltway during HOV hours if you are going to the airport to eat, get coffee, get gas or any other reason other than boarding a plane or picking someone up at the airport."

    It was a good run, but now it is over, hybrids don't qualify anymore on 66 so now I must change my commuting habits or find a job in Ashburn.
     
  2. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    I know people tried that gimmick to ride on the access road - but never knew people tried to ride on I-66 with the same justification. Honestly can't believe it's taken you that long to get pulled over..

    I never saw any connection to I-66 HOV usage and the airport.
     
  3. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    "buying coffee, gas or other items" is not acceptable to use the Dulles Access road either. You were luckier than you thought!
     
  4. Sasquatch519

    Sasquatch519 Member

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    Have to agree with above - I had no idea those airport provisions (which I always thought were a bit of a grey area anyway) ever applied to 66. Was that rule a relic left over from when they first built the airport?

    You still made out pretty well over 15 years though - $125 is way less than the tolls, not to mention the extra gas from sitting in traffic you would have burned. I'm still shocked you made it 15 years without ever being pulled over!

    Still, it seems to me like the law is right - If someone could buy a $1 coffee at the airport gas station and use it to duck the $3.50 worth of tolls every day, the airport lanes would be jammed.
     
  5. Genco

    Genco Member

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    I agree with all the above. I was very fortunate but all good things must come to an end. It was always a game of Sharks and Minnows, the police were the sharks and the commuters were the minnows, there were only a few sharks and there are many minnows so odds were in your favor. It was fun for 15 years and apps like WAZE even helped the last couple of years, but I'm not willing to risk the next fine which is $250 since I would be a repeat offender.
     
  6. Tech Head

    Tech Head New Member

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    Can you post a link to the actual law (if you have it)?

     
  7. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    In surprised a bit by this because there are several office buildings on airport property and I've been told that conducting business at those locations was "airport business" for the use of the roads even though the companies aren't affiliated with the airport activities. I've had some appointments at those locations then taken advantage of the access road and Route 66...
     
  8. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    the vdot page talks about flights only now..
    http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-rulesfaq.asp

    2. Motorists traveling to and from Dulles International Airport to go to the airport to board a flight or to pick someone up at the airport are permitted to use I-66 inside the Beltway (I-495) during HOV hours. Motorists traveling to or from Dulles International Airport are not exempt from HOV restrictions on I-66 outside the Beltway (I-495). You are not permitted to use I-66 inside the beltway during HOV hours if you are going to the airport to eat, get coffee, get gas or any other reason other than boarding a plane or picking someone up at the airport.

    I used to use the access road when going to FedEx... because the drop-off for late drop offs was at the airport.
     
  9. Tech Head

    Tech Head New Member

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    Thanks for the link! Looks like there's really no allowed airport use heading east on 66 in the morning now. The only allowed use for the airport I guess would be heading west on 66 during the evening rush and that's only to catch a flight or pick someone up at the airport. Ugh!
     
  10. 4thand26

    4thand26 New Member

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    Are we sure that the rules changed for the Dulles Access Road too?

    I'm not referring to 66, just the Dulles Access Road. Per the link provided above and the OP's experience in court, they seem to have changed the rules for 66. I question whether they can simply update the FAQ on the website and that materially changes the laws of the road...perhaps the VADOT issued a formal clarification or a law was passed that updated the statute regarding usage of 66 but I wouldn't know.

    The Access Road is owned and operated by MWAA. Here's the official MWAA regulation regarding use of the Access Road which was updated in July 2014-- (see section 4.2) http://www.mwaa.com/file/PDFregs.PDF (excerpt below)

    § 4.2. Use of Dulles Access Highway.
    (1) Except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this section, a person may use the Dulles
    Access Highway only for the purpose of going to or leaving Dulles for airport
    business, or, with the permission of the Airport Manager, to perform work on the
    Dulles Access Highway. Use by any person of the Dulles Access Highway for a
    purpose not authorized by this section is prohibited.
    (2) Exceptions:
    (a) buses that are being operated in common carriage of persons by companies
    holding a certificate of public convenience and necessity for its operation and for
    which use of the Dulles Access Highway is appropriate, or
    (b) school buses as the term is defined in §46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.
    (3) No person may:
    (a) enter the Dulles Access Highway through other than a road or ramp approved by
    the Airport Manager for that purpose;
    (b) exit the Dulles Access Highway through other than a road or ramp approved by
    the Airport Manager for that purpose,
    (c) make a U-turn on the Dulles Access Highway,
    (d) enter upon or cross through the median strip of the Dulles Access Highway, or
    (e) operate a vehicle in violation of operating signs posted on the Dulles Access
    Highway by the Airport Manager. The fact that such signs are posted shall be
    prima facie proof that such signs were posted by the Airport Manager.
    (Res. No. 94-4, 1-5-94)

    >
    >
    I guess it all comes down to whether "airport business" includes a stop at the gas station, post office or fedex...Any lawyers out there willing to comment?
     
  11. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    One of my co-workers always stopped at the airport gas station for a cup of coffee so he could use the access road. He said if he got stopped by the police all he had to do was produce the coffee receipt to show he was conducting 'business.' Well, he eventually got tagged and ticketed because the officer said his coffee stop did not qualify as 'official' business. This happened 4+ years ago.
     
  12. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    Using the coffee receipt as "proof" raises another question. What is to stop a dishonest person from telling the State Trooper, "I'm on my way to catch a flight at the airport," or "I'm on my way to pick someone up at the airport," or, "I just dropped someone off at the airport."? The rules cited above don't say what is considered "proof" that you were actually dropping people off or picking people up. If you said you were catching a flight and the State Trooper asked to see your boarding pass, are you required to show them? Is that a violation of privacy / unlawful search?
     
  13. PDILLM

    PDILLM Active Member

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    You get a ticket and an opportunity to show up in court and product the boarding pass with an affidavit by the person you picked up.

    If people want to game the system they will eventually get caught. Just sad it has taken so long.............
     

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