Using HOV Lanes
When travelling in the lower mainland I notice the HOV lanes require 2 or more persons in a vehicle. Does this apply when you are a pick up truck towing a 5th wheel trailer?
Vehicles containing more people than just the driver are a relative rarity on our highways. Some estimates place them at less than 10% of the total number of vehicles on the highway! In order to encourage the efficient movement of more people, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes were created. There is an added benefit, filling up the vehicle means a "greener" journey as well.
In order to use an HOV lane, you must qualify as a high occupancy vehicle, which in BC is defined as a bus or any other type of vehicle under 5,500 kg GVW carrying the required number of persons as indicated by the sign controlling the HOV lane. If you and your vehicle fit the definition, you may find yourself travelling at speed in the HOV lane while others that do not qualify must crawl along in the other lanes.
Motorcycles are exempted from having to qualify according to the sign and may always use the HOV lane, as are electric vehicles that display an exemption decal.
You must enter and leave HOV lanes only when the line between lanes is a broken line. The solid line confines you to the lane otherwise.
There are exemptions for making turns to the right for non-HOV vehicles when the HOV lane is not part of a freeway. You may turn right into the HOV lane from a business premise or an intersection to access the highway containing the HOV lane. You may also occupy the HOV lane in order to turn right at the first intersection where the turn is permitted.