Between the lanes born to improve traffic congestion we found the high occupancy lanes, also called VAO or BUS-VAO, and the DGT now remembers how to circulate through them to save us a more.
In Spain there are several: in Madrid (A6 between km 6 and 20), in Granada (GR-3211) or in Ripollet-Barcelona (C-58), but more are being planned. The pioneer was the Madrid, which has been operating since 1991, and it is estimated that it reduced the percentage of cars with a single occupant by 47% in the first ten years of use.
We review its characteristics, as well as vehicles that are allowed access to these lanes delimited by barriers and found on interurban access roads to cities.
This is what high occupancy lanes or HOV are like
Like reversible, add-on, or reverse lanes, the bus-HOV lane aims to improve the flow of vehicles, specifically to facilitate access and exit from large cities.
The high occupancy lanes #BUSVAO They are for cars with two or more occupants, motorcycles and buses. Free access is also allowed to cars with the ZERO Emissions environmental label. Respect them. They help improve everyone’s traffic👍. #ConviveYRespeta pic.twitter.com/gtxNxCudyB
– Directorate General Traffic (@DGTes) October 7, 2021
However, they are intended for high occupancy cars or vehicles, as its name indicates. As a general rule, access to them is allowed to vehicles with two or more passengers, including the driver.
In addition, they may be subject to schedules or certain days, as is the case with the A6 in Madrid or the C-58 in Barcelona, although for specific reasons they may also become operational.
Their meaning can also vary, so they are reversible, the operating number of the same or the minimum number of occupants of the vehicles. In short, they are variable and can be adjusted as needed of traffic.
Vehicles that can access the BUS-VAO
Although the authorities may vary the requirements, in general the lanes of high occupancy can circulate the vehicles intended for the transport of people with two or more occupants which can be:
– Mixed vehicles: vans and commercials that can be used both for the transport of people and goods.
– Buses: both minibuses, as of more than 3,500 kilos or articulated.
However, there are exceptions that do not require a minimum number of occupants, so some vehicles occupied only by the driver can also circulate through them:
– Cars and vehicles with a ZERO label (electric, hydrogen and plug-in hybrids with more than 40 km of electric autonomy). Since 2015 it has been included among the exceptions to encourage its purchase and use.
– Vehicles of people with disabilities (which carry the signal V-15) or adapted for occupants with reduced mobility.
– Carsharing vehicles, which must carry the distinctive V-26, which identifies cars or vehicles that do carpooling, in the upper left corner of the windshield.
How to circulate on these lanes
Beyond adhering to the variable requirements and that are indicated in the traffic lights, in the HOV lanes you should always circulate at the same speed that marks the section of the road through which they run in parallel.
On the other hand, when you drive through them you must comply with general safety regulations, which does not vary either. For example, keep the distance with the preceding vehicle or respect the rules of preference of passage both in the accesses and in the exit of the same.
There are also no changes in the procedure in case of breakdown: the vehicle must be stopped as close as possible to the right margin and signalized, either with the triangles (although there are changes in the regulations and it is no longer possible to walk on the road to arrange them) or with the new V-16 light signal.
Fines between 200 and 500 euros
Circulate improperly for the BUS-HOV rails supposes a Serious offense as specified in Article 76.c of the Road Safety and Traffic Law:
Failure to comply with the provisions of this law in matters of right of way, overtaking, changes of direction or direction and reverse, direction of traffic, use of lanes and hard shoulders and, in general, any violation of special traffic regulations for reasons of safety or fluidity of traffic.
Incurring this offense is punishable by 200 euros, which can stay at 100 euros if you opt for prompt payment (pay the penalty within a maximum of 20 calendar days after notification). It does not involve the subtraction of points.
Specifically, it is applied in two cases:
– Driving a vehicle with fewer occupants of those stipulated.
– Driving with a vehicle that not allowed Its use.
However, if you enter and drive on the HOV lane in the opposite direction to the march, you are committing a very serious offense. And in your case the penalty is 500 euros (250 euros with prompt payment), in addition to being punished with the loss of six fucking of the permit.
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