When do accidents make HOV lanes available?


The in basket: Scott Menard of Bremerton  says he’s  seen instances when HOV lanes were temporarily opened to all vehicles because of an accident or road work blocking lanes on the freeway. 

One day in March, he said, he was on I-5 and came to a sign saying there was an accident ahead, but there was no mention of the HOV lanes, where traffic still was flowing. What is required to use the HOV lanes in such a case, he asked.

The out basket: HOV lanes are meant to make it desirable to share vehicles rather than driving alone, by making it easier to get around congestion. Most accidents create congestion, so the lanes would be opened to single-occupant vehicles rarely because of a crash.

Unless a sign says the HOV lane is open to all vehicles, or you are directed there by an officer, a flagger or a flashing yellow arrow sign, the usual rules apply and you risk a ticket by being alone in your car in an HOV lane.

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