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  #1  
Old 10-29-2011, 9:51 AM
DVSmith DVSmith is offline
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Default Carpool lane question for CHP

I saw a thread on another forum discussing the appropriate speed of traffic in carpool lanes relative to the #1 lane.

Some argued that you can go the speed limit even if traffic is stopped in the adjacent lanes.

Also, what is the responsibility of those merging into the carpool lane vs those in the carpool lane. Can you merge in if that causes the traffic already in the lane to have to slow down in any way to avoid hitting you?

Here is a video of an incident that was discussed in the thread. what do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqSRS...layer_embedded
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2011, 12:44 PM
mej16489 mej16489 is offline
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22107. No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move
right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with
reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate
signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other
vehicle may be affected by the movement.



22108. Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given
continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before
turning.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2011, 4:36 PM
Andy Taylor Andy Taylor is offline
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Not a LEO and don't know the applicable law, but as a motorcylist who uses carpool lanes fairly often, I try to not go more than 10-20 miles faster than the number one lane, for the reason shown in the video. I would hate to be DEAD RIGHT.
In other words, if #1 is traveling at 5mph and I have a clear carpool lane and can travel at the speed limit of 65mph, I really don't think it is the smart thing to do. I also think the basic speed law comes into play, Don't drive faster than is safe for conditions.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2011, 5:36 PM
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Keep in mind 22350 (unsafe speed). If that would have resulted in a TC, the mc rider would be the party most at fault IMO.
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Old 10-29-2011, 5:57 PM
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What constitutes the unsafe speed? Is it b/c the motorcyclist should have been traveling in a manner where s/he could have stopped safely given the exisiting road cirucmstances (e.g. the stalled traffic to the right)? Just want to make sure I understand that correctly. I agree with Andy Taylor that when it comes to cagers, it doesn't matter if they're wrong because you don't want to be dead right.

A more general HOV lane question, I've noticed when riding that some HOV signs say "Motorcycles OK" and others do not. I've been travelling on both. The CHP FAQ states that: "Motorcycles: Solo motorcyclists can use HOV lanes (and most HOT lanes) without a decal unless otherwise posted. Motorcyclists cannot ride on, in, or over solid double lines."

So are there areas in the state that say: "HOV lane, no motorcycles?" I know from some signs I can see that the "Motorcycles OK" was painted over or covered up. I've never been pulled over or harassed about this by LEOs, I only get dirty looks from commuters when I pull up on the HOV on ramps.

Last edited by roll2li; 10-29-2011 at 5:58 PM.. Reason: mispelling
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2011, 9:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roll2li View Post
The CHP FAQ states that: "Motorcycles: Solo motorcyclists can use HOV lanes (and most HOT lanes) without a decal unless otherwise posted.
There's your answer, sort of.

MC in carpool lanes, as well as minimum passenger count for access, are up to local authority. That's why it can vary from county to county.

Bottom line as I understand it (not CHP but former LEO with CHP friends and I commute in Marin and Sonoma), if it's not posted that motorcycles are okay then they're not okay. Strange logic but there you have it. In Marin and Sonoma counties, the signs are up that say MC are okay and two or more in a car = GTG.

In Alameda County on 80, it's 3 or more in a car to be GTG, and MC were still not okay last time I checked.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
22107. No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move
right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with
reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate
signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other
vehicle may be affected by the movement.



22108. Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given
continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before
turning.

OK, 22107 requires a signal only if another vehicle(s) may be affected by the movement. Is 22108 a requirement that is independent of 22107 or does it become operative only if there are other vehicles in the proximity that may be affected? IOW. if you are, say, exiting from a freeway do you have to signal the intention under 22108 even if there are no other vehicles around?
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:30 PM
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22107 does state "in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement". If there are no other vehicles around that could be affected by the turning movement, no signal is required and 22108 does not apply.

After watching the video a few times, it is my opinion, the motorcyclist is traveling at an unsafe speed. The M/C passes vehicles in the HOV lane before and after the pickup turns in front of him. The M/C is traveling at a much faster speed than the HOV traffic is traveling. Would it be reasonable for the pickup driver to be looking out for a M/C rider traveling twice as fast as the HOV traffic?

It is obvious the pickup did turn into the HOV lane cutting off the M/C, but because of the M/C higher speed, the pickup driver didn't see the M/C coming. If there was a collision, both parties could be at fault. Was the M/C traveling at a speed unsafe for conditions? That is the question.
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2011, 3:44 PM
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I would have cited the truck for unsafe lane change. MC rider was GTG in my opinion
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2011, 5:08 PM
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BigDog, motorcycles are allowed in any HOV lane in the country.
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2011, 5:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_in_ca View Post
I would have cited the truck for unsafe lane change. MC rider was GTG in my opinion
I'd have considered citing the rider for VC 22350. Just because he can lane share does not give him carte blanche on his speed. If he had been operating at a safe speed he wouldn't have had to evade when the truck changed lanes when it was not safe to do so (also citeable).

I see a lot of riders lane sharing every day in the commute. Most are very safe. Some are not and those few are the ones who get hurt, unfortunately.
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2011, 8:47 AM
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It would be cool if those of you who are CHP would point that out. I can appreciate that a lot of board members may have an opinion on this subject, but I am really curious what CHP officers think in this case.
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Old 11-01-2011, 9:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogatPlay View Post
Bottom line as I understand it (not CHP but former LEO with CHP friends and I commute in Marin and Sonoma), if it's not posted that motorcycles are okay then they're not okay. Strange logic but there you have it. In Marin and Sonoma counties, the signs are up that say MC are okay and two or more in a car = GTG.
From the CHP website:

Quote:
Motorcycles:
Solo motorcyclists can use HOV lanes (and most HOT lanes) without a decal unless otherwise posted. Motorcyclists cannot ride on, in, or over solid double lines
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Old 11-01-2011, 9:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roll2li View Post
What constitutes the unsafe speed?
CVC 22350 Basic Speed Law

No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for
weather,
visibility,
the traffic on, and
the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2011, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazzB7 View Post
From the CHP website:
I understand your point, however the CHP website is not the same thing as local regulation. Emphasis below is mine....

Quote:
In Northern California, HOV lanes are operational only during peak traffic hours due to shorter periods of congestion. Hours of operation are determined by Caltrans, in coordination with the relevant RTPA and are designed to match the traffic peak periods. Caltrans and RTPAs have occasionally adjusted (both lengthened and shortened) the hours of operation of several HOV lane segments from their original hours to better reflect demand for the lanes. Finally, all of the state's HOV lanes require two or more occupants, with the exception of some of the state's toll bridges and the I-80 approach to the Bay Bridge, which require three or more occupants.
Source

If the "Motorcycles OK" signs are hanging on the center divide on I 80 then I'll stand corrected.
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2011, 2:05 PM
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Pardon my ignorance. I know what a HOV lane is. What is a HOT lane?
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Old 11-01-2011, 2:09 PM
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I believe that the federal funding for HOV lanes requires M/C to be allowed to use them, or the state doesn't get the money. No local regulation is allowed, if the state wishes to get the federal money.
I recall several years ago all the carpool lanes, in my area anyway, were marked "MOTORCYCLES OK". Those signs came down. I suspect it was an effort to discourage the use of the lanes by motorcyclists, when they found that they could not outlaw it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 2:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVSmith View Post
It would be cool if those of you who are CHP would point that out. I can appreciate that a lot of board members may have an opinion on this subject, but I am really curious what CHP officers think in this case.
Some probably dont want to id themselves as such
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Old 11-01-2011, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconis View Post
Some probably dont want to id themselves as such
Had not thought of that. Good point.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rromeo View Post
BigDog, motorcycles are allowed in any HOV lane in the country.
Yup... In theory, motorcycles could be prohibited for safety purposes if any could be identified, much as bicycles are prohibited in freeway HOV lanes for obvious reasons.

23USC102(b):
Access of Motorcycles. - No State or political subdivision of a State may enact or enforce a law that applies only to motorcycles and the principal purpose of which is to restrict the access of motorcycles to any highway or portion of a highway for which Federal-aid highway funds have been utilized for planning, design, construction, or maintenance.

Nothing in this subsection shall affect the authority of a State or political subdivision of a State to regulate motorcycles for safety.

...as a better example, California maintains its right to prohibit "motor-driven cycles" (<150cc machines) from freeways, though there's no right to prohibit two-wheelers with one rider from HOV lanes provided they're on the freeway legally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogatPlay View Post
If the "Motorcycles OK" signs are hanging on the center divide on I 80 then I'll stand corrected.
The HOV lane that runs from Carquinez Strait to the Bay Bridge and back on I-80 is HOV-3, but solo motorcyclists are definitely allowed to use it--I do it all the time, and I'm still celebrating the 30mph solo Prius drivers getting the boot. There are a few "Motorcycles OK" signs, but not at every HOV reminder sign. My theory is that signs cost money and motorcyclists all know or should know that we can ride in HOV lanes.

Last edited by der_saeufer; 11-04-2011 at 11:16 PM..
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2011, 8:13 PM
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Common sense is the highest law of the land..if everyone is going 5 mph there's a reason..unfortunately 4 wheelers cannot dart in and out like mc's..
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Old 11-07-2011, 8:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Taylor View Post
Pardon my ignorance. I know what a HOV lane is. What is a HOT lane?
High Occupancy Toll.

They're talking about doing that on the 10 (currently 3+ lanes).

My understanding is that the lanes continue to remain "free" for 3+, but the HOT will open up access to the lanes to solo (and 2) vehicles if they pay a toll for the use of the lane.
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