Hybrid Road Rage in California

Editorial sides with state's decision to limit hybrid car access to HOV lanes to cars getting 45 mpg or better, despite American carmaker lobbying efforts.

Published: 05-Jan-2005

A REASONABLE experiment -- promote hybrid cars sales by letting the high-mileage vehicles use commuter lanes -- was made law by Sacramento last year.

But hybrid drivers are stuck in a legal traffic jam. Lawmakers thought the change would begin this month, yet federal rules on highway money will oblige a time-consuming wait. Then there's the hovering presence of the Detroit car lobby, unhappy that the mostly foreign hybrids are getting a special privilege.

The result is that California can't use a law it passed. It may take months before solo drivers in hybrids whiz along in carpool lanes.

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