Carpool Lane Enforcement Begins on I-80

Anne Makovec 46 mins ago

SOLANO COUNTY, CA -- Enforcement of carpool lane laws goes into effect Friday on a 7-mile stretch of I-80 near Fairfield. The stretch runs from North Texas Street to Red Top Road in Solano County.
California Highway Patrol Officer Marvin Williford says some of the markings, including painted triangles in the lanes and signs, have been up for weeks.
Officers began ticketing during the Friday morning commute. Williford says they didn't want to begin enforcement of the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane laws until all markings were installed, in order to prevent any excuses from drivers claiming confusion.
The rules state that in order to drive in the carpool lane, you must have at least two people in the vehicle, or be driving a motorcycle or an ultra-low emission vehicle with verifying stickers.
Enforcement, though is difficult. Williford says it's almost impossible to see if there are kids inside the car, and it's difficult to pull drivers over since they're in the far left lane.
Caltrans leaves room on some stretches in the center divide for officers to pull over violators, but otherwise they have to chase drivers over several lanes of traffic to the right-hand side of the roadway.
The CHP issued approximately 12,000 tickets last year for HOV lane violations. Each ticket costs a minimum of $351.
By Anne Makovec,