Do you ever find yourself stuck in traffic and looking longingly at the empty lane next to you that's reserved for cars that have more than one person in them? Does the fear of an HOV violation keep you from jumping in the lane to make up some time? These HOV lanes or "high occupancy vehicle" lanes were designed to force us to carpool on our way to work, as crazy as that sounds.
Do you really know anyone who lives near you AND works near you AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, that you want to share a car ride with every day back and forth from work? Me neither. And how often do you arrive and leave your job at the exact same day? What happens if there's an emergency and you have to leave work early? Does your carpool buddy have to walk home? Who pays for his cab if he can't get a ride? I think you get my point. Apparently, I'm not alone, because these HOV lanes are slowly giving way to "Lexus lanes" where people pay extra to get in and avoid traffic. I guess the need for money has outweighed the desire to encourage people to save gas.
However, there are still plenty of highways that, if you are alone, will leave you stuck in your car, while the lane next to you is practically empty. Ever wonder if you can go on eBay and buy a mannequin and dress it up and stick it in the seat next to you? What about a Real Doll? Can the cops really tell at 55 mph if there's a real person in the seat next to you? Can you avoid an HOV violation by "faking out" the cops?
Sadly, no, the police are very good at spotting the "real" people from the "fakes." In Broward County, there are usually two police whose sole responsibility is to patrol the highways and look for HOV violations, and they've seen it all. In a recent crackdown, they dedicated 20 plus police officers with the job of rooting out all the HOV violators. Seriously? That's where the police are choosing to beef up enforcement? Mannequin patrol?
Like everything else that doesn't seem to have a logical explanation, look no further than the money these HOV violation tickets generate. How about $165 per HOV ticket given out. If there is a silver lining, it's that they don't carry points (like red light camera tickets).
Are you starting to see a trend? By giving tickets that don't carry points, they think the public won't be up in arms. But in reality, since they are giving more and more tickets out, you, the public has a much greater likelihood of receiving a ticket and paying what essentially equates to a tax.
The entire notion of points on your driver's license is so the state can determine which driver's should be taken off the road for dangerous driving. By giving points, they are able to monitor to some degree who the bad drivers are. When they do not assess points, it's an opportunity for people of means to drive any way they want without any fear of consequence.
Don't think that just because an HOV violation does not carry points that it's not worth fighting. Insurance companies will raise your rates whether the ticket carries points or not. After all, these tickets do appear on your driving record, which is why it's still important to fight your ticket.
Which do you prefer? More tickets that are just designed to reach into your pockets or fewer tickets that carry points and alert the state to who should not be driving?
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Want to watch a video of a man who tried to use a skeleton in his car and got caught and had to pay a $400 fine? Click HERE