Carpool lanes, otherwise known as HOV lanes, are basically empty lanes on the left side of congested freeways, which are usually backed up for miles. The fines for riding in the carppol lane by yourself, if you get a ticket and opt to plead guilty, are pretty hefty. California currently charges $381, an obscene amount.
I once was driving to court in Orange County and it was rush hour traffic. It was a virtual parking lot, and I knew I would miss the court date in the morning if I stayed in the regular lanes. So I crossed the line and sailed past literally thousands of parked cars on the 57 south. I was suing a drunk driver (and her deadbeat insurance company) who had crashed into me earlier in the year, so I did not want to miss the trial. It was an open and shut case, the max in small claims at the time, which was $5000. The judge slammed her gavel down and ruled for me in a simple matter of minutes, so choosing the rebel route was proven well worth the risk.
If you ever have such an emergency, you may want to know the following info from the CA DMV.
Merely driving in the carpool lane alone is a violation of CVC 21655.5(b), "Failure to obey sign posted preferential traffic lane(s); exceptions - motorcycles, mass transit buses, and paratransit vehicles." It does not carry any violation points added to your record, so your insurance will not go up. It will appear on your driving record though, as a zero point violation. The problem is when you cross the double yellow line to enter a carppol lane. Whether you're by yourself or with someone else, doing this may result in a citation for CVC 21655.8.(a). It reads as follows:
California used to issue spoecial yellow stickers allowing hybrid vehicle owners to ride in the carppol lane alone, but their quota for the stickers has been met, so they are not issuing any more: "The 85,000 Clean Air Vehicle Stickers (yellow) that VC §5205.5 allows for hybrid vehicles have been assigned. Original Clean Air Stickers will no longer be issued to hybrids; however, substitute stickers may be issued if the original is damaged."
The Department of Transportation has a FAQ sheet on HOV lanes that reveals some interesting information. George H.W. "skull and bones" Bush was responsible for two laws expanding and encouraging these carpool lanes nationwide. Here is an excerpt of some questions and answers from that page.
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, National Motorists Association, WorldNetDaily, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Rense, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com