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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.
 
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