Keeping the cheaters out of the new HOT lanes

The company building the HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway is taking steps to fight back against future scofflaws. (Courtesy of Fluor-Transurban)

WASHINGTON – Every single day there are solo drivers who try to cheat the region’s High Occupancy Vehicle system by sneaking into the HOV lanes.

And, now there’s concern the same thing may happen in the new High Occupancy Toll lanes being built on the Capital Beltway in Virginia.

The company, Fluor-Transurban, that will operate the HOT lanes between Springfield and just north of the Dulles Toll Road knows there are drivers who will try beat the system.

The company is taking steps to make sure cheaters get caught.

Project leaders at HOT lanes operation center in Alexandria say a deal is being worked out with the Virginia State Police to have a dedicated team of troopers specifically assigned to the HOT lanes.

Virginia State Police will bring on six to nine new dedicated officers for the team.

Those brand new officers will be responsible for constantly doing a visual check of cars in the HOT lanes to make sure cheaters stay out.

Drivers with three or more people in the vehicle will be able to use the HOT lanes for free.

Drivers who use the HOT lanes will have to switch their E-ZPass transponder to either a “carpool” or “toll” mode. That transponder will alert officers when carpools are coming through the lanes, and the officers will then visually inspect those cars.

WTOP’s Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow Adam and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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