Q&A - HOV Lane Sign Rules

Q&A ImagePlease let me know what the rules are when there are different HOV signs. For example, in Coquitlam, HOV signs clearly state the lane is for vehicles with one or more persons per vehicle during the hours of 6 am and 7 pm Mon-Fri. HOV signs in Langley, however, do not state the hours, nor do they state the days of the week HOV is in effect. Does this mean there are different HOV laws depending on jurisdiction? If so, does this mean HOV rules in Langley (and other cities that do not stipulate 6 am to 7 pm M-F) are in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

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Answer

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are defined by Reserved Lane signs and are very briefly mentioned in the provincial drivers guide Learn to Drive Smart on page 32 and again on pages 52 and 53. It does indicate that in general, HOV lanes operate 24 hours a day, but one must pay attention to the signs for requirements to use the lanes and when they are effective if they are not in operation around the clock.

In contrast, Chapter 7 of the provincial Manual of Standard Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings explains in detail how HOV lanes must be marked and signed starting at page 199.

In short, yes, HOV lanes usually operate 24 hours a day, but may operate for shorter time periods depending on how it is signed. The signs may be uniform across a municipality or could be different within the same municipality or between different municipalities. One must know what the signs mean and pay attention to them to know what is required.

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