Q&A - Using the HOV Lane

Q&A ImageQUESTION: I am having difficulty with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes and speed limits. Here are two different scenarios that I'm curious about and a comment about (non) enforcement of the speed limit during rush hour. I am uncomfortable using HOV lanes due to the dangerous behaviour of drivers overtaking me from the rear when I follow the speed limit.

1) HOV Lane - Scenario 1:

If a vehicle in the HOV lane is travelling SLOWER than the traffic in the Single-Occupancy Lane, and impeding HOV vehicles, is there a ruling that they must either:

  • Increase their speed to match other traffic or
  • Leave the HOV lane

What is the correct thing to do?

2) HOV Lane - Scenario 2:

A vehicle is travelling in the HOV lane ( at the posted speed ) and is approached from behind by a faster vehicle. Not wanting to impede traffic, the HOV car then changes lanes into the Single Occupant lane continuing at correct speed. While in the Single Occupant Lane, they find they are also being approached by faster ( speeding )cars, that want to pass.

Does the two-passenger car change back to the HOV lane or stay where they are?

What is the correct thing to do?

3) Radar Monitoring:

Why is there no radar monitoring done during peak traffic times when all the traffic is exceeding the posted speed limit and there is more chance of an accident occurring? At other times of the day, if a vehicle is travelling (alone on the road) the same speed as rush hour traffic, why it is stopped for speeding?

It seems that the speed limit is dependent on the time of day.

ANSWER: 1) Neither A nor B is a complete answer. First of all, if the "slower" vehicle is doing the speed limit, no one has any reason to complain. As I have written here on the site, going slower than the speed limit is acceptable in some situations as well. That said, for most of their length, HOV lanes are separated from other traffic by a single solid white line. This says don't cross me, so one cannot get into or out of an HOV lane legally unless they are at a single broken white line.

So, if you are under the speed limit and starting to hold up HOV traffic, you should yield to the right when the broken line appears.

2) Taking into account the discussion on solid lines above, your speed law abiding driver is no doubt being seriously tailgated (followed too closely) by the want to be speeder. When I worked traffic enforcement my action of choice in this situation was to ticket the tailgater. In my view, they are the problem here.

Simple self preservation may dictate that you move out of the HOV lane when the broken line appears, let the selfish driver go by and then move back.

3) I can only speak for myself. I worked the peak traffic times and saved the quiet times to get paperwork done. A better question might be "why are there not sufficient traffic enforcement resources on the road to make their presence known more often?" You will have to ask your MLA that question.

If there are not enough workers on shift, you aren't going to see them.



Thank you very much for this response.

As an HOV user, whenever I have a passenger, I am frequently tailgated, fingered, or have lights flashed at me or horns sounded behind me. I do the opted maximum speed.

Unfortunately the driver behind me generally crosses the solid white line behind me and then abruptly cuts in front of me usually across a solid white line. Too often, without even having a passenger in the vehicle.

Given the idiotic promise by the Liberals to take away photo radar, which is a highly effective tool in most jurisdictions, and the general lack of traffic enforcement, there is little opportunity to educate drivers or correct their bad behavior.

With 100 percent of revenues going directly to the municipalities it never ceases to amaze me the amaze me that there is not a much greater traffic enforcement presence out there. What municipality is not crying for more money?

How many tickets would new traffic officers need to write to break even? Image what video cameras could do for enforcement? Maybe if revenues went to TransLink something might actually happen.

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