PHOENIX, Aug. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, the Arizona Department of Public Safety announced that the number of citations they wrote last year for individuals violating the rules of the HOV lane rose by approximately 50 percent compare to four years prior. With the exception of 2014, HOV lane violations have been steadily on the rise since 2011.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety released a report stating that they issued 7,364 HOV lane violation citations in 2015 as compared to only 4.886 in 2011. It is believed that the reason for this sharp increase is twofold. First, officers have placed a higher emphasis on enforcing HOV lane regulations following citizen complaints about reckless driving. The Department of Public Safety allocated a large percentage of motorcycle officers to address the issue. Second, increased highway traffic has prompted drivers to utilize the HOV lane even when they are the sole occupant of the car.
"People do it in good faith, they're driving, thinking, 'Well there's an extra lane, what am I doing here? Why don't I get in the lane?'" said Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. He believes that the motivation behind individuals breaking HOV lane regulations is primarily innocent.
Pulling over individuals in the HOV lane can be a very dangerous maneuver. Gutier later mentioned that motorists travelling in the HOV lane often drive 5 to 15 mph over the speed limit. This, combined with the fact that traffic may be moving slowly, or not moving at all in the other lanes of the highway, makes for a hazardous situation. "During rush hour, pulling somebody over in the HOV lane is probably one of the trickiest things that a trooper has to do," Cecil later mentioned. The danger does not end once the car has been pulled over. The vehicle being pulled over must either come to a stop on the left shoulder, adjacent to the HOV lane or cross several lanes of heavy traffic to reach the right shoulder.
"For the safety of everyone on the road, I strongly advise Arizona drivers to follow the rules regulating HOV lanes. Only vehicles carrying two or more passengers may enter the HOV lane during the standard rush hour periods between 6 AM and 9 AM as well as 3 PM to 7 PM," said David Hastings, the founder of Hastings & Hastings.
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SOURCE Hastings & Hastings