Hybrids Still Not Allowed in California HOV Lanes, Despite New Law

U.S. Congress must first give its consent before hybrid car owners can take advantage of new 2005 law granting them access to high occupant vehicle (HOV) lanes in the state.

Published: 30-Dec-2004

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Sacramento -- Hybrid vehicle owners pining to take their eco-friendly cars on a solo dash down the carpool lane come Saturday, take heed: You're not on the right side of the law just yet.

While 2005 will usher in a raft of new state laws, Congress has yet to supply its required assent to a bill signed in August by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger granting certain hybrid drivers access to most of the state's diamond lanes even if they have no passengers.

"The initial impression... was that (hybrid owners) can start using them, " said Debra Gravert, chief of staff for Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who authored the bill. Come Saturday, she said, "I'm sure there's going to be people who use them and don't know they're not supposed to."

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