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Hybrid HOV Access Up Again in Virginia

It's that time of year again. Virginia legislators are once again looking to extend HOV access to solo hybrid car owners. Several bills have been submitted (via Fredericksburg) to grant exemption.

Hybrid proponents point out HOV access encourages people to buy hybrid cars, which lowers fuel (and oil) consumption here in the US. Detractors say a gas-guzzling SUV with 2 or 3 people in it saves more in gas on the drive in the carpool lane than a solo driver in the most fuel efficient hybrid.

Proposed legislation would extend access on I-95/395 through July 1, 2011. The current extension runs out on July 1, 2010.

Some complain that HOV lanes can get congested, and why should solo drivers get access. Hybrid drivers point out cheaters make more of an impact than hybrid car owners.

One version of the proposed bill will give all clean special fuel vehicle owners another year to use HOV lanes at rush hour with one occupant on the Dulles Toll Road and Interstate 66.

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