More and more car pool lanes are popping up all over the country, as various states and counties adopt the notion of having a special lane for carpoolers. In car pool lanes (also known as HOV or High Occupancy Vehicle lanes), the only vehicles that are allowed are ones with multiple drivers. On most car pool lanes, the minimum number of occupants is two, but on some freeways it is three or even four. Motorcycles are also allowed to drive in car pool lanes, even with only one occupant, and in many states alternative fuel vehicles such as electric and gas-electric hybrid cars are also allowed, regardless of occupant number.
Car pool lanes exist to encourage coworkers and acquaintances to carpool together, instead of taking separate cars. Because car pool lanes don’t have an incredibly large amount of vehicles driving in them, they are able to maintain a high freeway speed even when the rest of the freeway is stuck is stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. This incentivizes carpooling, which helps get cars off the road. Fewer cars on the road means less congestion and traffic on the freeway, fewer carbon emissions, and reduced damage to freeways (which means less road repair money from taxpayers).
In states that have them, car pool lanes are some of the most important rules of the road because so many drivers depend on them for them for their daily commute. Car pool lanes vary from state to state, so always familiarize yourself with local car pool lane rules when traveling, just as you would with all traffic laws.
Are there car pool lanes in Maine?
Despite the fact that Maine is one of the nation’s leaders in environmental awareness and protection, there are currently no car pool lanes in the state. Part of this is due to the fact that Maine’s major freeways were built before car pool lanes became popular, and it would thus cost a significant amount of money to build additional lanes. Another reason why Maine has no car pool lanes is because it is a relatively small state, with no major metropolis that residents constantly commute into.
Maine doesn’t have the same traffic issues that most states in the country face, so there’s less incentive to add car pool lanes. Still, many critics believe that the addition of some car pool lanes would greatly benefit a large number of Maine drivers on a daily basis.
Will there be car pool lanes in Maine anytime soon?
Maine currently has no plans to add any car pool lanes to the state’s freeways. However, the state is always seeking ways to make their freeways more time and energy efficient, and they’re constantly changing laws to aid residents and drivers.
Car pool lanes have been gaining great popularity across the country, so there’s always a chance that Maine will change its tune and decide to implement some of the lanes into their freeways. Be sure to keep your eye open, in case the state adds car pool lanes in the future.
Car pool lanes save drivers a large amount of both time and money, and they also help the environment and the freeway conditions. Hopefully Maine adds some car pool lanes to their freeways someday so that their residents can experience all the benefits that carpooling has to offer.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What are the Car Pool Rules in Maine? and was authored by Brady Klopfer.