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Do We Need Tattle-Tale Drivers?

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We've all done it: sat in hours-long traffic, eying the swiftly-moving carpool lane, wishing we had brought a friend, a blow-up doll, anything that would "legally" get us into the carpool lane. There's often a moment, as you sit trapped in the fast lane, oh-so-close to the carpool lane and oh-so-late to your intended destination, when you look at the people in the carpool lane. Really look at them. It's then that the obvious occurs: "Wait a minute...I don't see two people in that car. Or that car...that guy is by himself...these people are...cheating!"

Lawmakers are considering this very scenario -- and wondering if it would make sense to encourage you to snitch on other drivers. The snitching wouldn't result in a ticket or a fine -- just a well-meaning brochure mailed to your home, illuminating the rules & regs of the carpool lane. Repeat offenders would be elevated to the CHP for "target enforcement."

Interesting, we thought. Hmmm, we wondered. Would such a law result in fewer violations? Or just a lot more paperwork from overly-snitching snitchers? Los Angeles County only has a 2% carpool violation rate. Consider us naive or just not that upset about the state of carpool etiquette, but aren't there more important crimes to fight in this city? More important ways to spend our tax dollars?

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If such a law were passed, would you snitch? Or, if you are a bad-ass carpool-lane cheater, jumping in and out when it suits you, would the possibility of would-be rats and ominous mailings from Caltrans cure you of your carpool-lane-hopping ways?

Photo by puck90