High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are intended to make lives easier. With their decreased congestion, they are often welcome reprieves for drivers with many passengers, who just want to get where they need to go. So, typically new HOV lane openings are met with praise. However, that is not always the case.
A new HOV lane that opened on the 1st of this year had critics well before New Year’s Day. This is due to the fact that it is an HOV 3. What does this mean? In short, these lanes are only free for cars with three or more people. Cars with only two riders—even if that’s all the car can hold—will have to pay if they want to use this lane. No exceptions. Meanwhile, motorcyclists will continue to be able to use HOV 3 lanes for free, as they are protected by federal law from having to pay to use carpool lanes.
Understandably, Colorado’s two-seat drivers feel as though this new law is discriminating against them. On the other hand, CDOT maintains that this does not prevent two-seat drivers from using this lane. It only prevents them from using it for free.
The state thoroughly evaluated all possibilities before landing on the HOV 3 decision. Across the country, different regulations are in place. While Virginian two-seat drivers must also pay to use HOV 3 lanes, Californian two-seat drivers are allowed to use those lanes for free, as long as there are, in fact, two people in the vehicle.
According to Colorado Rep. Jonathan Singer, the HOV 3 lane was necessitated by the current transportation funding situation. Much of the funding relies upon a gasoline tax that has remained constant for more than 20 years and has left us with “lackluster” revenues, he explains.
But, even an explanation does ease the annoyance for some.
HOV 3 Could Be A Success
As Denver accident lawyers, we always do our best to see all sides of the situation. While we certainly feel the hassle that many drivers are now facing, we also see the state’s attempt to do what is best, overall.
When you get down to it, HOV lanes are intended to move more people in a timely fashion, so that everyone can benefit from reliable travel speeds on the highway. So while this may be an inconvenience for some, it may turn out to be better for everyone, in the long run. For now, all we can say is time will tell.
We do, however, hope that this new HOV lane option will help to increase driver safety so that collisions are less of an issue on the roads. We have seen countless accidents occur due to overcrowded roadways filled with distracted drivers. So, in that regard, this HOV 3 lane may be a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, nothing will ever completely eradicate the potential for an accident. And if you or a loved one has been injured on the Colorado roads, we are here to help. Having a trusted attorney on your side can make a world of difference as you handle your legal case. So, if you have questions or feel you have a case on your hands, do not hesitate to contact us.