Whether you call it “the carpool lane”, or the “HOV” lane or “the diamond lane,” here’s a question for you. What is the etiquette of said lane? When do you cross the line and abuse the rules? Where is the line that sours the fruits of the lane?
I only ask because I saw something interesting the other day while driving home at rush hour – stuck as usual.
I was jealously watching the carpoolers approach and whiz by in my mirror, when I noticed that the next car to come was a police car. Further, it looked like the driver was the only dude in the car.
I thought to myself, “That’s odd. I wonder if the police are exempt from carpool rules. Seems fair enough, they have places to be to protect and serve. In fact, I am all for the police using the carpool lane under any circumstance.”
No sooner had I finished this train of thought and I noticed the driver of the police car was not alone. There was indeed someone else in the car. I thought, “Odd I didn’t notice the passenger. Well, fair play to the cop. That’s two people and he legitimately qualifies for the carpool lane.”
Then the car zipped past me and the details were revealed. The second rider in the car was a perp. So then I though, “Wait, does that qualify? Sure that’s two people in the car, but it’s not like they planned the ride ahead of time in the effort to relieve drive-time congestion! It’s not as if the perp said to the cop, ‘Hey, are you heading to the jail, because I was heading there too. What’s say you give me a lift? Then we can use the carpool lane!’ In fact, as preemptive punishment that perp should have to sweat it out in rush hour traffic!”
Of course, we are all innocent until proven guilty, but it seemed to soil the spirit of the carpool lane.