Right turns and the Poulsbo HOV lanesMarch 18th, 2013 by travis baker
The in basket: Michael Schuyler read the recent Road Warrior column about it’s being illegal to turn right out of Charleston Beach Drive in Bremerton directly into the Highway 304 HOV lane and asked on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com, “OK. Let’s say you are alone turning right onto a highway where the HOV lane is the right lane, such as SR 305 through Poulsbo. Let’s just say traffic is also heavy at the time.
“If you turn right into the HOV lane you are using the lane illegally. If you turn into the inside lane, you violate the “turn into the nearest lane” rule.
“Will the WSP give you some slack here, or will they cite you for not moving over immediately?” he asked.
The out basket: When that HOV lane opened, the official answer to Michael’s question was kind of vague, saying that turning right into the lane was permissible for a single occupant vehicle if it moved quickly to the general purpose lane. Likewise, moving into the HOV lane was OK to prepare for a right turn off of the highway if you did it right before the turn.
The official advice hasn’t changed. State Trooper Russ Winger says, “He should turn into the closest lane, even if it is the HOV lane. That is not an illegal use of the HOV lane. If not allowed to be in the HOV lane by restriction, move to the other lane as soon as practical.”
If I’m ever in a situation where I take that advice, I’d be careful not to pass any cars in the general purpose lane before moving over, signaling and moving over when a break in traffic appears.