Not all highway lanes are governed by the same laws. The carpool lane is restricted to certain vehicles and different safety regulations. Here’s some carpool lane 101 for drivers who might want to take advantage of all the benefits the carpool lane has to offer.
What is a Carpool Lane?
The carpool lane is located on the far left of the highway. The lane has special markings, like a diamond symbol. The lane is normally used by certain vehicles to bypass normal traffic. Vehicles that may use the carpool lane include travel buses, motorcycles, and para-transit vehicles. Hybrid vehicles and those carrying two or more people are also eligible depending on the state.
Although the lane is primarily reserved for specific vehicles, all other vehicles may use it during some hours defined by the state.
Benefits of the Carpool Lane
Carpool lanes aim to encourage people to share vehicles, thus conserving fuel and reducing pollution. Less cars on the road generally means there’s less traffic, resulting in less congestion in urban areas.
Drivers receive an extra incentive and perk to purchasing a hybrid vehicle. Fewer cars on the road also lead to a decrease in travel time and increased efficiency.
Carpool Lane Safety
Carpool lanes may be convenient, but they often operate at much higher speeds. Following some basic rules can optimize safety in the carpool lane.
First and foremost, be sure to enter and exit carpool lanes in designated areas. Drivers should never cross double lane lines. Those who break this rule may face a hefty fine. Make sure to exit the carpool lane with plenty of time to your highway exit. Lastly, always consider the difference in speed between the carpool lane and general-use lanes.
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