HOV Lane Guidelines
High occupancy lane(s) or “HOV” lanes (sometimes also described as car pool lanes) are restricted to use by vehicles with greater than one occupant. It is illegal for single occupant vehicles to use the HOV lane(s) for travel, and most definitely for passing other vehicles!
Single occupancy vehicles should not cross over the solid or double yellow or white lines to enter, exit, or use the HOV lane(s) to pass other vehicles. (See California Vehicle Code § 21655.8.)
There are several exceptions to the multi-occupant vehicle use of the HOV lane. Other eligible vehicles permitted to use the HOV lane include:
* Various hybrid vehicles
* “Clean-air” vehicles
* Public transit vehicles
California Vehicle Code § 21655.5 limits the use of the HOV lane to single occupancy vehicles with applicable decals or other accepted vehicles. Violation of the use of the HOV lane can be costly, including fines, court fees, DMV points and increased insurance rates. Needless to say, if your vehicle does not qualify as a high occupancy vehicle or is not designated by the Vehicle Code for usage of the HOV lane, it is clearly in your best interest to stay out of that far left lane. The HOV lane should be clearly marked and signed for freeway drivers.
Once again, follow the HOV guidelines and DO NOT USE the HOV lane for passing.
If you are involved in a traffic-related incident, including personal injuries or other damages, contact the Law Offices of Heiting & Irwin for a free initial consultation.