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Police chief: Slugs are alright

A local congressman says Washington’s police chief assures him authorities in that city won’t ticket drivers who drop off and pick up slugs on 14th Street.

Rep. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly, D-11th sent a letter to Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier earlier this month after reports surfaced  that police officers were ticketing drivers who were picking up slugs in order to use Interstate 395 and 95’s High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. 

In what he called a gracious response, Connolly said the chief made it clear to him that police are not targeting carpoolers.

“Slugging is a win-win-win.  It is a win for commuters, who get to work more quickly than if they were driving alone.  It is a win for the region and the District of Columbia because it reduces the number of cars entering the city.  And it is a win for all residents of the region because slugging reduces vehicle miles travelled and the associated air pollution,” stated Connolly’s letter to Lanier.

Slugs or sluggers, whatever you call them, have been doing it since the 1990s when the HOV lanes were built.

About 20 slug lines have been set up – all without government assistance – between Fredericksburg and Springfield.

While in the lines, slugs wait for a driver to pull up who will then take them to points in Northern Virginia and Washington. To travel the HOV express lanes between 6 and 9 a.m. and 3:30 and 6 p.m. on weekdays, vehicles must have at least three occupants, making slugging a practical, and in many cases free, commuting solution.

Additionally, the drivers get to work faster because they get to use the express lanes.

Many of the main destinations are the Pentagon, Crystal City and Rosslyn in Virginia and 14th Street in Washington.

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