Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

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gocytocis
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Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by gocytocis » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:58 pm

I understand that this is a matter regulated by local jurisdiction, but does anyone have any experience being ticketed for riding in an HOV lane, and subsequentially successfully fighting it in court?

I have no issue riding in the HOV lane because my local authority doesn't specifically forbid it, and I believe motorcycles meet the spirit and intent of a "high occupancy vehicle". I have not encountered any issue with the law (yet), but I do anticipate one day getting some grief.
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Steve in Golden
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by Steve in Golden » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:39 pm

I believe motorcycles are specifically allowed in the HOV lanes in CO, it would be silly to disallow them. But of course there are no limits to the stupidity of governments so I would not be surprised if it is illegal in some places. Dunno about "N America".

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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by Major Softie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:25 pm

California used to have little signs specifically saying "Motorcycles Okay" right under the HOV lane sign, but they no longer do, so I've been curious about if this is a change in rule or in signage.

Must research....


Edit: Okay, I checked. In CA, motorcycles are specifically allowed, so I guess they have just stopped putting up the little signs.

Here's what the CDMV site says (the bold part is pretty funny, especially for a State publication):

Q What's an HOV lane?

"High Occupancy Vehicle" lane, or car-pool lane. The central concept for HOV lanes is to move more people rather than more cars. Some HOV lanes carry almost half of the people carried on the entire freeway. Regular "mixed-flow" lanes are never converted to HOV lanes. Rather, HOV lanes are always added to existing facilities. Each vehicle that travels on an HOV lane must carry the minimum number of people posted at the entrance signs. Usually that means at least two people, or in some cases three people. Each child counts as an occupant, but pets, infants still in the womb, inflatable dolls or ghosts do not (we've heard 'em all). Violators are subject to a minimum $481 fine. Exceptions: Motorcycles, even those carrying just one person, are allowed to use the HOV lanes. Some HOV lanes are in operation only during certain hours, which are posted. Outside of those hours, they may be used by all vehicles.


As usual, every state is different. I remember when the HOV lanes first started to appear. The original plan in CA was to apply the same restrictions to all vehicles, and it was AMA lobbying that got the exclusion for motorcycles.
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Jeff in W.C.
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by Jeff in W.C. » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:36 pm

Major Softie wrote:Here's what the CDMV site says (the bold part is pretty funny, especially for a State publication):

Q What's an HOV lane?

"High Occupancy Vehicle" lane, or car-pool lane. The central concept for HOV lanes is to move more people rather than more cars. Some HOV lanes carry almost half of the people carried on the entire freeway. Regular "mixed-flow" lanes are never converted to HOV lanes. Rather, HOV lanes are always added to existing facilities. Each vehicle that travels on an HOV lane must carry the minimum number of people posted at the entrance signs. Usually that means at least two people, or in some cases three people. Each child counts as an occupant, but pets, infants still in the womb, inflatable dolls or ghosts do not (we've heard 'em all). Violators are subject to a minimum $481 fine. Exceptions: Motorcycles, even those carrying just one person, are allowed to use the HOV lanes. Some HOV lanes are in operation only during certain hours, which are posted. Outside of those hours, they may be used by all vehicles.


As usual, every state is different. I remember when the HOV lanes first started to appear. The original plan in CA was to apply the same restrictions to all vehicles, and it was AMA lobbying that got the exclusion for motorcycles.
FWIW, there's an HOV lane on I-680 between Sunol and Milpitas (this traffic is headed towards Silicon Valley) which allows single occupant drivers (I belive the HOV lane is two or more there) to pay a fee to use the HOV lane.
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bbelk
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by bbelk » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:31 pm

I think the HOV lanes around Houston are morffing int toll roads. The rich will get to drive faster.
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by The Veg » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:32 pm

bbelk wrote:I think the HOV lanes around Houston are morffing int toll roads. The rich will get to drive faster.
That's what they've been doing in Atlanta too, and it's stoopid because nobody here drives any faster in them except during the commute-crunches and even then they don't go that much faster.
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by gocytocis » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:41 pm

bbelk wrote:The rich will get to drive faster.
In the 6 months since I started the thread, something I've become more acutely aware of is the politicization of 2-wheeled vehicles. Certainly bicycles seem the largest target of what appears to be a growing 'us-vs-them' polarization in our cities between single-occupant vehicles and anything moving faster than them, but it's also been observed by me to include motorcycles. For example, motorcycles remain barred from lane-splitting where I live, and public parking rates don't reflect the proportionally smaller size of a motorcycle. There also seems to be growing hostility at motorcyclists for the ease with which we can navigate traffic congestion.

Politicians (most notably Toronto's famed crack-smoking Mayor) appear to have picked up on the easy votes of pandering to frustrated auto-commuters looking for scapegoats.

In this context, motorcycles in the HOV lane may actually draw even more unwanted attention to us by cagers, politicians & law-makers who'd like to see us off the road entirely(?).
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Steve in Golden
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by Steve in Golden » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:50 pm

I'd think cagers who see motorcycles zipping by in the HOV lane or legally splitting lanes to avoid traffic jams would want to get motorcycles of their own, rather than try to stop them from doing it. Don't they realize if the motorcyclists were forced to cage it instead, there would be even more cagers, and more traffic jams? Dumb question, I know. Of course they don't. That would require half a brain.

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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by Rob » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:26 pm

Steve in Golden wrote:Of course they don't. That would require half a brain.
Well, they do have half of a brain, unfortunately it is connected to their cell phone. :(
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gocytocis
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Re: Motorcycles in the HOV Lane?

Post by gocytocis » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:23 am

Steve in Golden wrote:...That would require half a brain...
I think that's exactly the point; the use of 'alternative transportation' is becoming a political issue rather than a common-sense issue, which is sad.
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