Q I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE!
A John is screaming mad.
Q I am convinced California could pull itself out of debt if the CHP would crack down on carpool lane violators. I understand the reason for carpool lanes and respect those who use them properly, but I tell you, one out of five cars in the carpool lane should not be there and that is infuriating.
Why do most of us obey the law and these other losers get away with cheating? I am especially frustrated now that the carpool lane has been extended on Interstate 880. I crawl by in my car while watching these violators blow by the rest of us between 237 and 101. Please, Highway Patrol, distribute some justice!
A Justice needs to be dished out at so many places.
Q Every morning there are more folks making an illegal right onto the north 101 carpool onramp at Tully Road and most are solo drivers. Could the CHP post an officer at the overpass to catch these offenders? ... Highway 85 carpool cheaters: I hope the CHP nails you with a $491 ticket! ... During the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. commute on San Tomas Expressway, on average one-third of drivers in the carpool lane are single drivers. These people drive from stoplight to stoplight, clearly not interested in making a right-hand turn, and clog up the lane for those of us abiding by carpool rules. ... I've noticed that over 50 percent of cars have fewer than three people on I-80 between Vallejo and San Francisco during commute hours.
Jack C., Clay Hennessey, James Ward, Bob Richardson and zillions more
A And ...
Q Can you post up some numbers on carpool lane citations issued? Sometimes I feel I am the only one who obeys the law. Daily on Highway 87 south I see the guy in the Porsche convertible, the Mercedes convertible and a dozen other cars that clearly have a single occupant (and no carpool stickers) flouting the law because there is no enforcement. Please tell me these yahoos' days are numbered.
A I wish I could, but the number of carpool lane tickets has remained steady for much of the past decade and there is no indication more will be issued. Around 40,000 tickets statewide and 17,000 in the Bay Area are issued to carpool cheats annually. As traffic congestion grows, the CHP is hard pressed to crack down on what many believe is a growing number of cheaters.
Q This may or may not be a popular comment, so I apologize ahead of time.
I drive in the carpool lane by myself all the time. In the eight years I have done it, I have been ticketed three times. I consider it an extra tax while driving and have come up with a better way -- an executive tax lane. Make it an extra charge on your license renewal each year for $1,000 or so and just have that be the lane that makes all the money. It's very obvious that the way to supervise this is with FasTrak systems with a sticker. The tax is voluntary. If you don't want to pay, you don't have to drive in that lane.
A As FasTrak lanes spread, cameras will be used to track carpool scofflaws. Then justice could be dished out on more routes. But your $1,000 figure is way too low. A driver using the I-680 southbound toll lane daily could spend around $1,700 a year -- just for the morning commute. When a northbound toll lane is added, the annual cost could be $3,400.
Until then, if you see a persistent cheater, get a description of the car, a license plate number and what time that driver is on the road. Call the CHP and maybe a cop will be out.
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