Car pool lanes have existed for decades, and are becoming more and more common. There are more than 3,000 miles of car pool lanes across the nation, which helps the commute of thousands of drivers every single day. A car pool lane (also known as an HOV, or High Occupancy Vehicle lane) is a lane where only vehicles with multiple occupants can drive. Usually the minimum number of occupants required for the car pool lane is two (including the driver), though it can be three or four depending on the county and the freeway. Motorcycles are always allowed in car pool lanes (regardless of whether they have one or two occupants), and alternative fuel vehicles (such as plug-in electric and gas-hybrid cars) are often allowed in car pool lanes as well, even with only a driver.
Because there are fewer vehicles that are carpooling than are driving with a single occupant, the car pool lanes are able to operate at a high freeway speed, even during rush hours. This rewards people who carpool, whether they are ride sharing to work with coworkers, or driving their kids somewhere. By encouraging people to carpool, vehicles are removed from the road, which lessens traffic for other drivers, diminishes carbon emissions, and reduces the amount of damage that is done to the freeways (which in turn lowers the road repair costs for the taxpayers). All things considered, call pool lanes help commuters save time and money, while also having a positive impact in other areas.
Because so many drivers rely on car pool lanes, they are among the most important traffic laws and rules in states that have them. While using the car pool lanes can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle, misusing them can result in a hefty fine, so always be sure that you know the local car pool rules when traveling in a different state.
Are there car pool lanes in Missouri?
Despite the fact that Missouri is home to two of the country’s largest metropolises, there are currently no car pool lanes in the state. Both Kansas City and Saint Louis are workplaces to a large number of commuters, so it seems like many of the state’s freeways would do better with car pool lanes. However, all of Missouri’s major freeways were built before the rise in car pool lane popularity, and thus were not built with car pool lanes. In order to implement car pool lanes on Missouri’s freeways, some of the existing lanes would need to be converted to car pool lanes (which could cause excess traffic because of the diminished number of all-access lanes), or some new lanes would need to be added (which would cost a large sum of money).
Will there be car pool lanes in Missouri anytime soon?
Even though Missouri could greatly benefit from the addition of car pool lanes, there are currently no plans to introduce them to the state’s freeways. The state is constantly discussing ways to decrease commute times and increase freeway efficiency, and the addition of car pool lanes is often suggested. The next time that Missouri’s major freeways are renovated, there’s a good chance that car pool lanes will be added.
While some people are critical about car pool lanes in Missouri, their implementation would undoubtedly benefit thousands of commuters on a daily basis. Drivers will have to wait at least a few years before they can experience car pool lanes in Missouri, so in the meantime they should familiarize themselves with the state’s standard rules and laws, so that they can take full advantage of the car pool lanes if and when they ever are added.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What are the Car Pool Rules in Missouri? and was authored by Brady Klopfer.