California Vehicle Code 21655.8
HOV lanes, or High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, have been around since the early 1970s. Designed to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, they’ve become a standard feature of many freeways, especially in urban areas where the freeway runs through and around larger cities. While they can certainly save drivers time and great amounts of frustration, there are rules for using them. Those rules not only refer to the minimum number of occupants in the vehicles using the lanes, but also the types of vehicles that can use them and how to enter and exit the lanes properly.
The law has allowed for exceptions to the rules governing the use of HOV lanes and some of them can be a little confusing for commuters to decipher. For instance, motorcycles can use the lanes. If a lane is designated HOV for only certain hours of the day, single-person vehicles can use it outside of those hours and vehicles with certain “clean air” decals can use the lanes no matter how many people are inside it.
Regardless if you are in a high occupancy vehicle or fall under one of the exceptions, you still have to enter and exit the HOV lanes properly which can be the cause of some consternation for some drivers. You can tell what part of the freeway are designated as HOV areas because they are indicated with a solid, double yellow line running along the right side for the length of the HOV area. There are specific areas for entering and exiting the HOV lanes and they are designated by a broken yellow line. Entering or exiting an HOV lane by crossing the double yellow line is against the law.
CVC 21655.8 is the statute which covers this law:
(a) Except as required under subdivision (b), when exclusive or preferential use lanes for high-occupancy vehicles are established pursuant to Section 21655.5 and double parallel solid lines are in place to the right thereof, no person driving a vehicle may cross over these double lines to enter into or exit from the exclusive or preferential use lanes, and entrance or exit may be made only in areas designated for these purposes or where a single broken line is in place to the right of the exclusive or preferential use lanes.
Entering or Exiting a Preferential Lane can be Tricky & Expensive
Receiving a traffic ticket for violating CVC 21655.8 can hold some significant consequences. As a starter, there’s a fairly hefty fine which combined with the added fees added by the court add up to $490. On top of that, a point will be added to your driver’s license. At first glance one point doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the fact is that just one point on your driving record can increase your automobile insurance premium by 30 percent, and that increase will remain in effect for at least three years.
Legal advisors often will tell you to either simply pay the fine and fees, or go to court and contest the ticket. Sadly, neither of these options are very good. Either you pony up the cash or you take a day off work and appear in court and try to convince a judge that you were not in the wrong, a pursuit which ends up being unsuccessful for most people. But there is a better option, one which will save you money, time and frustration.
The Experts are Here to Help
Ticket Snipers was founded in 2008 for the express purpose of helping drivers successfully fight California traffic tickets, at a price people can actually afford. Over the years, we have developed our own process for efficiently and effectively disputing traffic tickets and have handled more than 10,000 cases.
Our team of legal experts knows all the ins and outs of fighting traffic tickets throughout the state of California. We’re ready to put our expertise to work for you. You won’t have to go to court or attend you traffic school when your ticket is dismissed. It’s pretty simple – if we don’t win, you get your service fee back. You won’t have to pay through the nose either. We charge a low flat fee which is significantly less than what you’d pay in fines and fees for your ticket and we take care of all the details.
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If you’ve received a California traffic ticket for a violation of CVC 21655.8, contact Ticket Snipers and see how we can help. We’ll even answer all your questions – for free!