HOV to HOT Lane Conversions
I am curious as to how the state DOT and the county municipalities plan on enforcing the usage of the HOT lanes they will be creating by converting the current HOV lanes.
Local Atlantians see HOV lanes on the interstates around and in Atlanta. I've used them in the past in my personal vehicle, and also as a member in a carpool van.
It isn't uncommon to observe a Gwinnett police office on motorcycle pulling someone over along I-85 South because they were in the HOV lane. Every afternoon you can find someone in the Northbound direction using the HOV lane to cut around those in the left-most open lanes that are congested during rush hour.
As a result, paid-for users of the up-coming HOT lanes will probably have their vehicles equipped with a transponder that will allow a passive system to identify a paid-for vehicle passing along a segment of Interstate highway.
Non-paid vehicle must meet the >3 occupants in order to be allowed to use the HOT lanes. But this would usually entail the third person in the vehicle's second row. Imagine those cars and SUVs and pickups with extended or double cabs that have window tinting.
If we assume the HOT lane affords the vehicle to move at ideal speeds (55-65 MPH), how will an officer be able to count heads in every vehicle when in the condition of many vehicles passing along him on the left shoulder?
Tom long stated to a friend a year or two ago (now running the DOT?) they were going to use IR detection. I find that bewildering as heat signatures would be smeared along the road at highway speeds, and additional background signatures from the adjacent lanes, plus the vehicle engines, reflected IR signatures from vehicle body panels, and even the road heat (thing Summer in Atlanta) will make this quite prohibitive.
In fact, I cannot think of a means to actually enforce the new HOT lanes, and I think once the word gets out this is likes to be a lane abused much more than it is now in its HOV configuration. yet, the state is spending something like $400 Million to implement?
Way to go Atlanta, and Georgia.