Inside the Beltway: VDOT to Spend $2M More for New I-66 Tolls with Flashing Lights

You may have noticed the flashing strobe lights overhead on I-66 and Route 267 inside the beltway. VDOT is at work and is testing the new toll gantries, including their bright flashing features. While other facilities use overhead tolling without flashing lights in drivers’ eyes at night, VDOT has chosen the bright strobe method. White strobe lights can trigger seizures for those with photosensitive epilepsy, and can be extremely distracting for all drivers. The strobe lights appear angled from the rear of a vehicle, however the flashes from the oncoming lanes is angled directly of driver’s line of vision and there is plenty of bright light in all directions.

The strobe lights’ purpose appears to be to illuminate license plates and allow law enforcement to count vehicle occupants at night while cars whiz by. Other agencies have figured out how to do this without visual strobe lights, but driver safety does not appear to be a priority on I-66.

Meanwhile, VDOT needs an extra $2 million dollars to collect tolls than their original budget for I-66 inside the beltway.

WASHINGTON — The Interstate 66 rush-hour toll system inside the Capital Beltway that is due to begin charging solo drivers in December will cost at least $2 million more up front than previously planned.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking the Commonwealth Transportation Board Wednesday to approve the additional $2 million in order to keep the project on schedule to open just before Gov. Terry McAuliffe leaves office, based on VDOT and contractor estimates for upcoming costs.

Full Story from WTOP:

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