You may be fighting a traffic ticket in LA traffic court or maybe in an Orange County traffic court for driving in the HOV lane. Vehicle code section VC 21655.5(b) prohibits driving in the HOV lane in California.
What Is the HOV Lane?
The HOV lane refers to what normal people like you and I refer to as the carpool lane. The letters “H-O-V” stand for “High Occupancy Vehicle.” Thus, if you’re vehicle is not highly occupied, i.e., has two or more people in it, then you are in violation of VC 21655.5(b).
I know how tempting it is to drive in the carpool or “HOV” lane, especially in the LA and Orange County area, where traffic really sucks. That’s why I fight a lot of these traffic tickets for my clients.
Will I Get a Point on My DMV Record for Driving in the HOV Lane?
People often wonder whether driving in the HOV lane will result in getting a point on their DMV record, which means they would have to attend traffic school in order to keep the point off their DMV record.
Fortunately, driving in the HOV lane is not a moving violation, and there is no need to attend traffic school.
Be mindful though that if you were additionally cited with VC 21460, which is crossing over a double yellow line, violation of this code section IS a moving violation. VC 21460 (crossing over a double yellow line) often goes hand in hand with VC 21655.5(b) (driving in the HOV lane with only one occupant in the car) because drivers frequently enter the HOV lane at a time when the line is a double yellow.
How Much Will It Cost Me If I Got a Traffic Ticket For Driving in the HOV Lane in California?
The minimum fine for driving in the HOV lane is $481, which can be higher depending on your specific circumstances.
Are There Any Legitimate Ways I Can Drive in the HOV Lane?
Yes. You can start by having two or more people in your vehicle. The only time you can drive in the carpool lane as a single occupant motorist is if you’re on a motorcycle.
Failure to Appear
Maybe you got a traffic ticket for driving in the HOV lane, and/or also crossing over the double yellow line. To make maters worse, you may also have a failure to appear charge along with it. You may have been moving at the time you got the traffic ticket, lost the ticket, or simply forgot about it. Now your ticket has become a big, BIG mess, because with a failure to appear your driver’s license will become suspended.
If you have a traffic ticket for driving in the HOV lane, and/or additionally crossing over the double yellow line, and/or additionally failing to appear on your ticket, I specialize in helping you clean this mess up. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly at 310-200-4519 if you’d like some advice about your specific situation. Together, we can determine if it’s worth it to hire a lawyer in your case, or if this is something you can just fix on your own.
(Image above by freedigitalphotos.net)