Washington drivers must stay alert to the law changes that will impact them beginning this week.
According to a series of news reports, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane violators will be paying more. Most importantly, if the driver breaking the rules has a dummy in the passenger seat, he or she will be paying extra.
Effective July 28, new rules boost existing HOV fines plus adds a higher fine for repeat offenders. It also adds a new fine for drivers using fake passengers.
The new rules state that initial HOV violations fines will go from $136 to $186, and that an additional $336 fine will apply to second or subsequent repeat violations within a two-year period.
Additionally, if a driver uses a dummy as a passenger, he will be on the hook for an extra $200 fine. This creates a maximum fine of $536.
Officials believe that HOV violators aren’t just frustrating to other drivers, they are also dangerous and may initiate conflicts that could result in crashes.
In order to help traffic management and avoid accidents, drivers should see these new fines as an added incentive to be responsible drivers.
The HOV lanes are in place to maximize people movement. That means drivers shouldn’t see these lanes as an opportunity to get ahead faster, but a way to carry more people faster. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore this reality.
In September, an emphasis patrol in the Snohomish, King, and Pierce county regions resulted in 1,672 HOV violations. At least 17 of them involved drivers who had received more than one ticket on two separate occasions, meaning that these drivers did not learn their lesson. One driver received three HOV violation tickets during the week-long special patrol.
Hopefully, these new laws will help to prevent accidents and, most importantly, help a greater number of people.
For more on these laws and fines attached to them, follow this link for more details.