Thursday, January 31, 2008

The HOV lane and license plates

A Trib article this morning about the HOV lane began with a weird statement: "It won't be so simple to buy your way into the carpool lane solo with a cleaner-burning car later this year, after Utah retools its rules to match federal standards."

Buy your way into the lane with a cleaner-burning car? Yep, that's why I got my hybrid, to buy my way into the HOV lane with it. But then, I'm not actually allowed into that lane. My car qualifies but, unlike the elite folk who pay a monthly fee to zip into the lane -- and then out again, dotted lines be damned -- I can't buy a sticker to save me from a ticket. If you own a hybrid and want to drive in the HOV lane, you have to buy a whole new license plate. There is a good explanation, though, as I learned from a helpful state employee: "Because that's the way it is."

Now, if I had one of those new Idaho plates, I'd be happy to give it up, but you'll have to pry my Arches plate from my slow lane hands.

No:
Yes:
Meanwhile, I won't be able to feel superior by driving past the little people in the regular-person lanes. I'll have to settle for feeling superior for driving a hybrid.

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