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Green and white clean air vehicle decals void means 220,000 more cars in regular lanes

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Chevrolet Volt electric automobile plugged in and charging in a parking garage, with a Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decal reading Clean Air Access Okay, October 3, 2016. The decals, which allow a single occupant vehicle to drive in a carpool lane, are issued to electric vehicle drivers in California. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Green and white decals issued to electric vehicles will be void on Jan 1, 2019.

If you have a white or green clean air vehicle decal on your EV or low emissions car and you’re a solo driver, on January 1, 2019 you WILL be handed a carpool violation ticket if you’re caught driving in the carpool lane. As per the DMV and the San Jose Mercury News on their report on this concerning issue for some California drivers, people who received green and white decals for their new cars are well aware this was the endgame when they signed up for the program, that on January 1, 2019, their decals would be void. Still, this will affect all Californians if you travel on a freeway anytime in 2019 and beyond.

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It gets worse. Even if you want one of these new-fangled Red Clean Air Vehicle decalsĀ and plan to use one as a solo driver but happen to make $150,000.01, tough luck. The annual limit for a single filer is $150,000, twice that if you file jointly. You, however, are still eligible for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

There are many other details that would behoove anyone thinking about applying for a decal and they can be found on the California DMV website here.

California’s HOV lanes, while not a perfect system, do give incentive for people to buy new clean air vehicles, helping to ease the pollution around California. However, this does NOT address the issue of traffic. A new car is a new car regardless of what’s under the hood.

The trend of more vehicles on the road and less roads to get there isn’t going to reverse anytime soon.

San Jose Mercury News does go on to say that, at any one time, 40 percent of the people IN carpool lanes are illegally driving as one person. With a $490 fine, many drivers are willing to take the risk then arrive late to work. As an aside, raising the fine wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Some parts of California freeways already adopt HOT lanes, or lanes you can use if you pay an extra fee. That’s moving in the right direction.

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This, however, is a step in the wrong direction.

On January 1, 2019, literally, overnight, it’s as if 220,000 cars hit the slow lanes at once. It’ll only be then will we see the repercussions of what’s been passed.

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