So you see someone driving solo in the carpool lane who's not allowed (certain hybrids with stickers and low-emission vehicles like the Honda Civic GX are okay). Not only is the offending driver cheating, but the jerk is probably disrupting traffic in multiple lanes and causing panic among other motorists. If pending legislation in California passes, you can do more than simply curse at the sleazebag within the confines of your vehicle. The bill would create a hotline for motorists to report solo drivers. The registered owner of the vehicle won't get a ticket but will receive a warning letter.

Seattle already has a similar policy, and officials say less than seven percent of the complaints involve repeat offenders. Carpool cheating in Washington is less than five percent while the national average runs between 10 and 15 percent.

In the San Francisco area, more than 20,000 drivers were slapped with the $330-plus carpool lane violation in 2006.

The obvious problem with such a program involves driver distraction while writing down the offender's license plate number. I usually have a small tape recorder in my vehicle to log any thoughts for new projects or remember the name of a new song I hear on the radio. So now I may have another chore for the recorder. The story didn't say anything about problems with false or prank calls to the hotline. I just wonder if some fraternity initiation someday wouldn't involve calling in every plate of the entire football team or all the professors in the business department.

[Source: Gary Richards/Media News]


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