Carpool Lane Ticket
In a 1976 essay, Joan Didion writes of the Santa Monica Freeway when the diamond lane or carpool lane was integrated into the highway. Things did not go over well: people scattered nails along the lane in protest. Needless to say, Californians have never had a lovely relationship with the carpool or HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane. Nothing appears to have changed much, as a carpool lane ticket now costs violators nearly $500 in traffic fines at minimum. Fines can reach even higher amounts for repeat offenders.
What Are the Rules of a Carpool Lane?
In Southern California, carpool lane rules are in full effect 24/7, meaning any vehicle seen violating these rules could be issued a carpool lane ticket. Motorcycles, mass transits (i.e. busses), and vehicles carrying two or more occupants can legally use the HOV lane. Anyone who uses a seatbelt is considered an occupant by law.
Why Does the Carpool Lane Exist?
The carpool lane was originally designed to encourage drivers to do just that: carpool. Sharing rides can conserve fuel, resulting in less emissions and less pollution. Another goal of the carpool lane is to ease the flow of traffic on the highway and relieve congestion.
What Are the Repercussions of a Carpool Lane Ticket?
Violating carpool lane rules does not constitute as a moving violation, meaning the driver will not receive a point on his or her DMV record and does not need to attend traffic school. Crossing a double yellow line does count as a moving violation, so if you did so in order to enter or exit the car pool lane, you may be issued a moving violation in addition to your hefty traffic fine.
If you believe you were unfairly issued a carpool lane ticket, contact our traffic ticket attorney today to discuss your options for dealing with possible outcomes of your violation.