HOV lanes aren’t ‘left lanes’

The in basket: Now that the state has decided the HOV lanes leading out of Bremerton on Highway 304 can be opened to all vehicles except between 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays, I found myself wondering if the standing rule that one must stay out the left lane except to pass applies to those lanes when the HOV restriction is not in effect.  So I asked.

The out basket: Trooper Russ Winger of the Bremerton detachment replied that the laws says “a high occupancy vehicle lane is not considered the left-hand lane of a roadway. The (state) shall adopt rules specifying (a) those circumstances where it is permissible for other vehicles to use the left lane in case of emergency or to facilitate the orderly flow of traffic (i.e.. time restrictions for two or more occupants only), and (b) those segments of limited access roadway to be exempt from this subsection due to operational characteristics of the roadway”.

“So,” Russ said, ” as that law reads, the HOV lane is not considered a ‘left lane’ and as such, not subject to RCW 46.61.100 ,” which says, among other things, “It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic.”

One thought on “HOV lanes aren’t ‘left lanes’

  1. Good to hear that someone on the state patrol knows what RCW 46.61.100 says. Now if they’d just enforce it…

    BTW, I remember hearing that car commercials can’t advertise top speed due to something about not being allowed to advertise breaking a law (might be a myth, but can’t find on snopes). If this is the case, why is PEMCO allowed to support violations of 46.61.100 in their commercials?

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