HOV Lane Violations
California is infamous for its traffic, despite its expansive state highway system. In an attempt to provide traffic relief, to cut down on the number of vehicles in the roadway and to encourage environmental consciousness, some areas have designated “preferential” lanes for certain vehicles. These include bus transit lanes and HOV lanes or “carpool lanes”, as they are most commonly referred.
What is CVC 21655?
This vehicle code governs rules and regulations as they relate to lanes designated for specified use.
21655.1 Driving in Restricted Bus Transit Lane
In order to provide more seamless public transit options, some areas in the state of the California have designated lanes set aside for busses to utilize. These lanes are available for use by the designated public transit vehicles only. Personal or commercial vehicles are not permitted in these lanes.
These lanes are often segregated from the rest of the roadway with a curb or a barrier, so ensure you are diligent with checking your surroundings. If you find yourself in one of these lanes it can be quite difficult to get out.
To avoid this type of confusion, proper signage is required for preferential traffic lanes. Ensure you pay close attention to understand if your vehicle qualifies to use it.
21655.5 Improper Use of Preferential Lanes (Solo Occupancy)
Carpool lanes are more formally referred to as “HOV lanes”. HOV stands for “High Occupancy Vehicle”, and the lanes are reserved for vehicles with multiple occupants. Most HOV lanes are reserved for cars with 2 or more occupants, but some restrict usage for any vehicle with fewer than 3 occupants.
There are a few exceptions to the multiple rider regulation. Carpool lanes will often permit designated clean air vehicles and motorcycles to utilize the lanes as well. Like the bus transit lanes, the signage will provide clarification as to what types of vehicles are permitted in the lane and how many occupants are required.
21655.8 Driving Over Double Lines of Preferential Lanes
Carpool lanes are typically marked with a diamond and have controlled entry/exit points designed with dashed white or yellow lines. Because HOV lanes often move at a different pace than the unrestricted lanes, entering and exiting the lanes at random can be dangerous. As a result, crossing into the HOV lane over solid yellow or white lines can result in a citation being issued, even if the number of individuals in the vehicle is in compliance with the lane designation.
I Received a Citation for CVC 21655. What are My Options?
The consequences of preferential lane violations vary based on how it is cited. Base fines for these citations range from $237-$490 and some iterations of this violation will add a point to your driving record.
Our team can discuss your options with you and help you find the best solution to address your citation. Reach out to us today or submit your violation for a free ticket review.