Are Highway 304 HOV lanes enforced?

The in basket: William C. Simons of Grapeview writes, “Every time I come out or into Bremerton by the shipyard I watch the cars traveling in the HOV lane.  Over half of the cars traveling in the HOV lane are single occupant.

“I was wondering if there is any plan to enforce the two-person rule for travel in the lane.  To date it isn’t being enforced so they should just take the signs down and let everyone share the road.”

While I asked about it, I also asked how troopers can be sure of violations when someone lying  down in back, even an infant in a car seat, makes the driver eligible to use the HOV lane.

The out basket: The State Patrol did an emphasis patrol there one day last year, and Trooper Krista Hedstrom of the local detachment says, “I don’t feel it’s a safe assumption to say that the laws aren’t being enforced in the carpool lane along SR304.  Troopers do regularly work that area, but as with any area within the county, you shouldn’t expect to see a trooper there every day.”

I’m also told that reducing the hours of the HOV limitations on 304 remains under discussion.

As for my final question, Krista says, “In situations as you mentioned (car seats, tinted windows, person lying down, etc) once the mistake was realized, the driver would be let go.”

2 thoughts on “Are Highway 304 HOV lanes enforced?

  1. They really need to open that lane up to all traffic during the off-peak hours. There is really only a couple of hours per day when there’s a “rush hour” there so why do they have restrictions all the rest of the time? Makes no sense at all. I had to laugh when I read that there was an emphasis patrol there “one day last year”. Well, with that kind of enforcement going on, it’s no wonder there are cheaters in that lane.

  2. HOV is totally inappropriate use of resources. Many times, the HOV lane is empty or sparse, when the other two lanes are congested or much slower. I understand HOV has a good intention in trying to encourage carpool. But saving gas is by far the dominating reason for people to carpool. If two people find it convenient for them to go to work together, then they probably would carpool to save on gas. If it’s not convenient, like one person might not be reliable with time or they don’t want feel obligated to talk to the other person, then they probably wouldn’t carpool even if it means spending more on gas.
    But no two people who like to enjoy the morning commute alone would carpool because they get to use the HOV lane so they can get to work a little earlier. So exclusive use of the HOV lane is not going to push the decision to the other side, when gas saving is not incentive enough. So in reality, HOV doesn’t reduce the number of cars on the road, it just rearranges them, so a few cars get to go faster who would carpool anyway without HOV, but most cars are forced to go slower with a lower MPG. That’s worse for the environment.

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