Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An Orange County, Ca supervisor, formerly in the state legislature, has put forth an idea to Caltrans, suggesting that all vehicles be allowed to use the HOV lane during offpeak hours. This is done some places in the northern part of the state, including Sacramento, where he says he got the idea. It is also the case in northern LA county, where it is allowed during certain hours on the 14 freeway, which is lightly traveled compared to the freeways in Orange County.
In addition, it has been suggested that drivers be allowed to enter and leave the HOV lanes at will, disregarding the double yellow lane markers. Some motorists complain that the openings in those lane markers leave too short a distance to cross the other lanes of traffic to reach the offramp. Where I have experienced this, particularly in very heavy traffic, the next time I simply exit the carpool lane one exit early. Seems simple enough, right?
I am dead set against allowing drivers to enter/exit carpool lanes at will. I see it at times now, and it is scary. Sometimes, traffic in the HOV lane is flying along at 60 plus, with the traffic in the number one lane at a crawl, and then I see some idiot pull out into the HOV lane across the double yellow line. To me, this is dangerous, and a far bigger problem than single drivers in non-hybrids using the carpool lanes. I think they ought to focus enforcement attention on this issue for awhile, and make it a huge fine, like double the regular $271 (or higher) fine imposed for driving solo. It would be easier to enforce, as the officer wouldn't have to look for the number of people in a car, or for an access sticker.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
888 Posts
Since I'm not a resident of California I can't speak to California's road issues. However I am mildly familiar with Washington's use of carpool (diamond) lanes.

First, I am not aware of a double line preventing entry or exit from a carpool lane. That doesn't seem particularly logical, except for the fact that it would require people to get in the lane and stay in the lane and that entry or exit would only be allowed at certain points, I guess to help with congestion that is generated by random lane changes. However, I think it makes the lanes a lot harder to use.

Washington does have off peak hours for carpool lanes in areas. So after rush hour has ended and overnight until rush hour starts again many of the carpool lanes are open for all. It certainly does give a lot more breathing room on the highways at night and better utilizes the extra lane.

Washington has not implemented any type of hybrid exception to the carpool regulations. I'm not sure why. However, I disagree with California's implementation requiring a fee and permits and ugly vehicle stickers. Stupid with a capital "S". I think the states that have just said, if you have a hybrid you can use the lanes, is a much better idea. Less government overhead, less administration costs, less worries. If the state patrol or county mountie can't identify a hybrid by looking at its brand, model, badging or anything else, well, then some training is necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
Cali has its reasons. The entry/exit limtations are to prevent rear-enders when a slow moving vehicle enteres or exits the carpool lane. In most areas, the carpool lanes have a speed differential (70 to 75 vs. 10 to 40). The lanes are there for longer drives not short hops where a driver would have to cross all lanes to get on and off the freeway.

The sticker program was done to limit the number of hybrids and avoid HOV congestion. In a few months the stickers will top out, and then the CHP cannot tell who is legal without a sticker. It also sunsets next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,161 Posts
Even if there were no limit on number of registered hybrids that could use the lane, the Prius is really the only car that is obvious to be a hybrid. Other hybrid vehicles will look just like their non-hybrid counterparts, and would be hard for law enforcement to distinguish quickly without stickers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
I wonder if there will be a black market in "HYBRID" trunk badges from Civics. It won't help in carpool lanes, but it might for the free parking. I wonder if they are selling out of them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
KTPhil said:
I wonder if there will be a black market in "HYBRID" trunk badges from Civics. It won't help in carpool lanes, but it might for the free parking. I wonder if they are selling out of them?

That's funny; my 2004 HCH bought new from the dealer, never HAD any badges of any sort, save the stylized H...

I now wonder where they went :wink: :wink:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,815 Posts
DanMan32 said:
Even if there were no limit on number of registered hybrids that could use the lane, the Prius is really the only car that is obvious to be a hybrid. Other hybrid vehicles will look just like their non-hybrid counterparts, and would be hard for law enforcement to distinguish quickly without stickers.
With the other exception the Honda Insight, anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
The 2005Insight is not on the HOV list. 1995 cars must be AT-PZEV in addition to high millage. Earlier Insights are allowed since pre-2005 cars only need to be ULEV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
jeromep said:
....
Washington has not implemented any type of hybrid exception to the carpool regulations. I'm not sure why. However, I disagree with California's implementation requiring a fee and permits and ugly vehicle stickers. Stupid with a capital "S". I think the states that have just said, if you have a hybrid you can use the lanes, is a much better idea. Less government overhead, less administration costs, less worries. If the state patrol or county mountie can't identify a hybrid by looking at its brand, model, badging or anything else, well, then some training is necessary.
From this site: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/HOV/guide.htm

"Can single drivers in fuel-efficient vehicles or hybrids travel in the HOV lane?

No. Fuel-efficient and clean-fuel vehicles reduce the amount of pollutants in the environment and improve the air we breathe. These vehicles do not, however, contribute to reducing traffic congestion when they are operated with only a single occupant. The main purpose of the HOV system is to move people, not vehicles. As a single-occupant vehicle, fuel-efficient cars do not increase the number of people moved on a freeway HOV lane.

The state of California recently made a change to their HOV policy to allow electric cars, or gas/electric hybrids to use HOV lanes with only one person in the vehicle. They instituted this change because of severe air quality conditions and an existing state environmental law requiring that a certain percentage of all vehicles sold in California be low emission vehicles. Allowing electric vehicles in the HOV lane gives citizens and carmakers incentive to buy/produce vehicles. Air quality in Washington urban areas has not reached a level to warrant implementing similar laws allowing electric vehicles use of HOV lanes."
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top