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Costa Mesa Freeway's Car-Pool Lane

February 23, 1986

In recent articles in The Times relating to the car-pool lane on the Costa Mesa Freeway, there have been statements that the California Highway Patrol "will increase its efforts against illegal lane changes" and that "CHP Capt. C. A. Lynd in Santa Ana has agreed to use overtime to put more officers" on that freeway.

It is stupid to pay CHP people overtime to do their job, when such people working out of their Santa Ana office either don't have the ability or the ambition to enforce laws against the worst and most dangerous, and I might add, the most visible traffic violators who drive that freeway.

I speak of the drivers of the large tractor-trailer trucks, especially the sand and gravel trucks, who illegally drive in the middle lane of the Costa Mesa Freeway.

This actually did not start until about two years ago. The CHP did nothing. Now anyone can see that nearly half of all such trucks are routinely driven in the middle lane without fear of any citation being issued.

I have yet to witness one such truck being ticketed for this dangerous, illegal act, even though CHP cars and motorcycles pass the trucks in the middle lane frequently. Yet, according to statistics released by the CHP in Sacramento, fatal truck accidents in California increased an appalling 21.6% last year.

When in the middle lane, the trucks are driven either dangerously fast, or so slow that they create traffic congestion. Frequently the trucks will exit directly from the middle lane because of their size.

There is gross hypocrisy exhibited by ticketing one person for illegally driving the car-pool lane, yet ignoring a much more dangerous situation of one person in a truck illegally driving in the middle lane. How can one expect motorists in cars to respect the lane laws when truckers are exempt?


Yorba Linda

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