Proposed amendment aims to crack down on carpool lane cheaters

Byby Tiffany Wilson KGO logo
Monday, June 26, 2017
Proposed amendment aims to crack down on carpool lane cheaters
If a proposed amendment passes, officials will be cracking down on those who violate carpool rules.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A proposed amendment in Sacramento aims to crack down on carpool lane cheaters.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission says if we want carpool lanes to work, then we need aggressive enforcement of violators.

Drivers say HOV diamonds are their best friend. "Sometimes you're late and you're cutting 10 minutes off your drive if you're going for an hour or so," Menlo Park resident Kyle Lee said.

Lee has taken advantage of that perk even when he's solo. "I've definitely done it a few times in a crunch time," he said.

However, Lee is not alone as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission study last year found about one in three carpool lane drivers shouldn't be there, but the lack of enforcement has allowed the culture of cheating to continue.

According to the MTC, CHP officers can only enforce cheating during overtime hours.

So, the MTC is turning to the state legislature for help. The MTC wants to amend a bill that would extend a popular carpool lane perk allowing electric and alternative fuel vehicles access to the lane if they purchase a sticker.

Those stickers currently cost $22, but the MTC wants to double the price to $44 to raise money to cover the cost of overtime for CHP patrols that would specifically target carpool lane cheaters.

Some drivers don't agree with this. "No, there are probably other things they could spend the money on," a woman said.