California’s carpool lanes will soon be “off limits” to solo drivers of hybrid vehicles displaying “yellow” clean air stickers. They expire July 1, 2011!
To make sure everyone is aware of this change, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will mail out 85,000 letters to registered vehicle owners with these stickers beginning May 1. The information will also include a warning: solo drivers caught cruising in a High-Occupancy (HOV) lane, after the expiration date, will be cited.
In 2004, Assembly Bill 2628 created the “yellow” sticker program, which allowed hybrid vehicles to also access HOV lanes. However, the privilege of driving alone in the carpool lane ends on June 30, 2011.
The hybrid vehicles that enjoyed the carpool exemption met California’s strict partial zero emissions standards and had a 45 miles per gallon or greater fuel economy highway rating.
The next generation of clean air stickers is anticipated to be released in 2012.