A High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane or Carpool Lane specifies criteria depicting who is allowed access to the lane. The most commonly known criteria are that you have more than a depicted set number of passengers in the vehicle along with you.
- You are driving a car with more than 2 passengers
- vans/ light trucks/ limousines/ registered taxis/buses
- Emergency vehicles, police vehicles
- vehicles with green plates and motorcycles
Failure to adhere can result in one of two HOV lane charges:
- Improper use of high occupancy vehicle lane – HTA 154 (1)(3)
- Fail to obey lane sign – HTA 154 (1) (c)
The criteria can differ depending on the lane, type of road, and the signage in place.
Ultimately, if you do not meet the depicted requirements and are caught within, entering, or exiting an HOV lane, you are committing a traffic violation. These offenses may seem like very minor violations, however, the penalties for these offenses will affect your driving record and could raise your insurance premiums.