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Some Commuters See Increase in Tickets for Picking up Slugs

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By Natalie Neumann

Some commuters are reporting an increase in drivers being ticketed in D-C for stopping at slug lines. That's where commuters wait for rides from strangers ... who can then use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to get home.

Nazik Hillali waits nearby the intersection of 14th Street NW and Independence Avenue for someone to pick her up to take her to Horner Road in Woodbridge, Virginia, nearby where she lives. In her seven years of being a slug, she's never seen a driver ticketed for stopping to pick up a slug, until a couple days ago.

"The guy only pulled up for like only a second. We jumped in and the police officer told him to just move up and then gave him a ticket. The guy joked about it in the car, but he was upset."

The ticketing happened the day Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb complained to D-C Mayor Adrian Fenty and the Director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, about traffic near the national mall.

Despite stories like Hillali's, Police Chief Cathy Lanier says police haven't been giving out more tickets to drivers stopping at slug lines. She says the department gives out hundred-dollar tickets to people stopping in traffic every day.

Still, Lon Anderson, a spokesperson with Triple A Mid Atlantic, says ticketing people for picking up slugs is outrageous.

"The district should be looking at everything it can to increase carpooling, instead of attacking carpooling." There was a similar controversy 12 years ago. Then-Police Chief Charles Ramsey tried to resolve it by moving the 14th Street slug lines from south of Constitution Avenue, but they're still there.

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