Recently, I was driving north on U.S. Highway 95, about 4 p.m., roughly between roughly Interstate 15 and Summerlin Parkway. There’s an HOV lane along most of this route.
I was traveling at the exhilarating speed of 0 mph to 10 mph in the “fast” lane, along with hundreds of others in all of the lanes. To my left was the HOV lane, occupied by very few vehicles, although they were moving close to freeway speed.
I was tempted to cross the double-white line into the HOV lane, although it is illegal. But as I watched, and over the distance of maybe two miles, 27 cars — mostly behind me but a few ahead — pulled left and entered the HOV lane. In my outside mirror, I could see the vehicles in the HOV lane. About half appeared to have single occupants.
Two lanes to my right was a Nevada Highway Patrol cruiser. I doubt that the officer could see the cars crossing the double-white — but even if he could, enforcement action would have been essentially impossible. How do you quickly cross three lanes of nearly stationary traffic?
Why on earth is there a set of laws regarding HOV lanes that are almost irresistibly attractive to violate and — in situations like I was in — nearly impossible to enforce? If the HOV lane were a normal, full-service lane, the freeway capacity would have been substantially increased and lots of folks would not have been breaking the law.