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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Allow States to Let Hybrids Use the Carpool Lanes


Feb 1, 2005
Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-Vista, CA) and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks, CA) introduced legislation that would allow states to permit hybrid vehicles to use carpool lanes (high-occupancy vehicle lanes).  This legislation, the Hybrid Vehicle HOV Access Act, would enable California to implement the recently passed law that allows high-mileage hybrids to use carpool lanes.  Currently, federal law permits only high-occupancy (usually two persons), natural gas and electric vehicles to use HOV lanes.


The California law, authored by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, allows 45 miles-per-gallon hybrids to use carpool lanes.  The law was to go into effect January 1, but implementation has been indefinitely delayed until new federal legislation is passed.


Issa quote:


œStates should be allowed to permit all hybrids to use HOV lanes, or, to limit this privilege to high-mileage hybrids, or, if they choose, not allow any hybrids at all, said Sherman.  œThe California bill works particularly well for California.  Other states have different needs.  I believe that the increased use of hybrid vehicles presents an opportunity to reduce our dependence oil imports and improve air quality.


Both Issa and Sherman introduced versions of this bill last session but neither was passed into law before the 108th Congress adjourned.


For more information or a copy of the legislation, contact Frederick Hill at or Sharon Singh at