Violators of zipper lane increase travel times

Violators of zipper lane increase travel times

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The zipper lane is meant for two or more people in a vehicle, but many people are abusing it, often increasing backups in a lane that's intended to get drivers to their destinations faster.

The state Department of Transportation said travel times have increased after the requirement changed from three people to two people per vehicle. However, there are many single riders trying to take advantage of the zipper lane. Honolulu police issued 789 citations in 2013, 1,267 in 2014 and 99 so far this year.

If pulled over, violators can face fines of up to $200. However, HPD said pulling drivers over can further increase congestion in the lane. Officers ask that drivers comply with the law and take note of when the lane is open.

The DOT said it costs approximately $1.7 million to maintain the zipper lane, but as equipment ages, the cost will increase. Critics of the zipper lane question the use of the lane if people continue to abuse the requirements.

The lane is open from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. on weekdays.

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