Study finds large number of drivers abusing Bay Area carpool lanes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- If you ever get the feeling that everyone's cheating in the carpool lane except you, there may be some validity to it.

A new study released by the Metropolitan Traffic Commission reveals shows rampant misuse of HOV lanes.

The study shows during peak commute hours in the morning, 24 percent of drivers in the HOV lanes are there illegally.

In the afternoon and evening, 19 percent are solo in the carpool lane.

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Sometimes all it takes to stop cheating is getting caught.

Jeff Guerra of Brentwood said he stopped driving illegally in the carpool lane after getting caught and ticketed for $375.

The MTC says HOV lanes are clogged every day and that 58percent are degraded and failing federal HOV standards.

That means cars are travelling at less than 45 miles per hour for at least ten percent of the time.

"You will get caught and it's not fair to the rest of us who are obeying the rules and doing it legally," said Nancy Zeiszler, a San Jose resident.

The MTC says you fix it through enforcement, express lanes and engineering. They hope to have a plan ready for review this fall.

The study found 58 percent of HOV lanes are degraded, meaning the vehicles are moving slower than 45 miles-per-hour for 10 percent of the time. The MTC plans on fixing it through enforcement, express lanes and engineering.

They'll discuss this study at a meeting at 9:30 a.m.

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