HOV Lane: not always in effect

There is a High Occupancy Vehicle lane along a southern stretch of I-95, but it comes with hours.

HOV lane hours on I-95

At almost any time of the day, you can find drivers on I-95 who avoid the HOV lane. I see this practically every time I travel this stretch of I-95, yet I’m seldom on I-95 when the HOV restriction is in effect. Seems odd to me. Drivers are supposed to be able to read, right? These tend to be the drivers who want to go faster when the slow pokes fill every lane, the very people who seem more likely to break the HOV rule since they are already breaking the speed limit. Yet they avoid using the HOV lane whether it is around noon or late at night and just go slower tailgating a slow poke. In their defense, only every other HOV sign show the hours.

It may be a rather American thing that just 2+ is considered to be high occupancy. The only vehicle I can think of that can’t manage that is a motorcycle. But then, I read “2+” as meaning “occupancy > 2”. I have the notion that other people may read it as “occupancy >= 2”, which would allow some motorcycles. High occupancy sounds like it should take a passenger bus, not a small car.

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