CHP Will Target Violators Using New Car-Pool Lane

The California Highway Patrol warned Tuesday that three officers will work overtime to ticket solo drivers and illegal lane changers in the car-pool lane that opens today on the northbound San Diego Freeway from Westminster to Seal Beach.

And those tickets will cost twice as much as they did in 1988. A new state law that took effect Jan. 1 doubled the minimum fine for lane violators to $100 and set the maximum fine for repeat offenders at $500.

Orange cones blocking motorists from using the completed 4.5-mile section from Springdale Street to the San Gabriel River Freeway interchange were to be removed late Tuesday night so that commuters could start using the lane this morning, officials said.

Capt. Mike Mikita said the CHP will assign two extra officers to work overtime during the day and a third at night to ticket solo drivers or those who enter and exit the special lane across the 4-foot buffer area and double-yellow line that separate it from regular traffic. The CHP will also add another regular patrol officer on the route for daytime enforcement.


“There’s no grace period,” Mikita said.

Mikita said he expects some backing up of traffic today under the overpass for the San Gabriel River Freeway in Seal Beach, where the car-pool lane gradually merges into a regular traffic lane.