It's not easy being green.
A measure passed by California’s state legislature last year is causing a bit of road rage, as more than 200,000 low- and zero-emission vehicles are set to lose their decals that allow them to drive in the car-pool lane without another passenger.
The decal program, which the state started back in 2012, was meant to boost the number of clean-air vehicles in California. Instead, it has congested the HOV lanes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, drivers who received the white and green clean-air stickers before 2017 will have to purchase a new vehicle to qualify. Drivers could obtain the decals if they buy a used car that did not previously have one and would have qualified under the previous program’s requirements, the paper reported.
A new income threshold will also eliminate certain drivers from participating in the program.
“Not being able to use the carpool lane will definitely affect my day-to-day,” Kitty Adams, a driver of a decaled 2002 electric Toyota RAV4,told the paper.
Critics argue that the focus should be on clamping down on drivers who illegally use the lane without a sticker or passenger, which represents one out of every four vehicles, the paper reported citing data from Caltrans.
“There needs to be a message that the CHP is taking enforcement seriously,” Dave Moreno, who is set to lose his stickers, told the Times. “I’m honestly not seeing it.”
A California Highway Patrol officer told the paper law enforcement is doing everything it can, but is stretched thin covering the 915 miles of freeways and highways in Los Angeles County.