No HOV Breaks for Military in Virginia

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    There will be no special breaks for members of the military who want to use carpool lanes in Hampton Roads, Va.

    The Federal Highway Administration has turned down the state’s request to exempt military motorists from HOV rules.
     
    A law passed by the general assembly earlier this year approved the exemption allowing active service members – in uniform – drive alone in HOV lanes when traveling to or from a military base. Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the measure into law in March.
     
    The highway administration said specific criteria must be met before a vehicle transporting only a driver is allowed to travel on those lanes.
     
    "We have to find ways to get greater usage of HOV lanes in Hampton Roads," Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton told The Virginian-Pilot. "HOV lanes just haven't caught on in certain areas."
     
    "It would be prudent to ensure that we don't clog the HOV lanes because then we would lose the incentive for the general public to carpool, which is what HOV lanes are all about," Dwight Farmer, executive director of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, told the Pilot.
     
    But Virginia lawmakers are not giving up.
     
    According to the newspaper, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican whip from Virginia, plans to bring the matter before Congress which could override the highway administration’s decision.
     
    In the meantime, a lot of military drivers who believe the law is in effect are being warned to stop using the lanes or face a $100 fine.
     

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