New regulations on 22 miles of continuous high occupancy vehicle lanes will go into effect Thursday morning and law enforcement will be out in full force policing motorists who disobey them.
The new HOV system includes the addition of carpool lanes on Interstate 15 between Silverado Ranch Boulevard and the Spaghetti Bowl, linking to the lanes on U.S. Highway 95 from the Spaghetti Bowl to Elkhorn Road in the northwest valley. The two freeways’ carpool lanes are linked via an 81-foot-tall, 2,600-foot-long HOV flyover bridge, allowing for continuous access.
The lanes went online last month and the Nevada Highway Patrol instituted a 30-day grace period before troopers would cite drivers for HOV lane violations. The Nevada Department of Transportation also carried out a major paving operation over the last several weeks, which included repaving and restriping the HOV lanes.
NDOT is providing NHP $10,000 to pay for trooper overtime to carry out concentrated enforcement effort on the new carpool lanes.
The new HOV lane restrictions mirror neighboring states’ rules, and implementing 24/7 regulations, instead of just peak hour enforcement, simplifies the restrictions for motorists, according to NHP.
If a motorist is in a carpool lane and is being pulled over by law enforcement, they are encouraged to merge to the right until they reach the shoulder of the road to safely stop.
The following are the dos and don’t of the new HOV lane regulations:
— Vehicles with two or more occupants.
— Emergency and law enforcement vehicles with one occupant, including with lights off.
— Vehicles with one occupant.
— Vehicles that don’t enter or exit the carpool lane at one of the broken line enter/exit points.
— Electric cars, unless with two occupants, as per Nevada law.
— Trucks with more than two axles, even with two occupants.
— Pets as occupants.
Drivers pulled over for violating any of the carpool regulations will face a $250 fine starting Thursday.