NW Poll

HOV lane cheaters

Wednesday, November 20, 2019by  PEMCO Insurance

According to the 2019 PEMCO Insurance NW Poll even though 84% of people say they know the rules, about two-thirds (66%) of drivers in Seattle and Portland say they see others abusing the carpool lane at least sometimes; yet only 19% admit to being HOV lane cheaters themselves. How about you? Do you ever use the HOV lane when you shouldn’t?

Do you own or have access to a vehicle – a car, truck, van or motorcycle—that you regularly or occasionally drive?

Portland Metro
509All
80Yes, I own one
11Yes, I have access to one
9No or don’t know

How regularly do you commute or travel on roadways where there are high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) or carpool lanes?

Portland Metro
462 Those with vehicles
21At least a couple of times a week
9About once a week or so
17At least once a month
28Less often than once a month
22Never
3Don’t know

How would you rate your own knowledge of the rules and laws that dictate who can and who can’t use HOV or carpool lanes?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
40I know the laws and rules very well
44I know the laws and rules fairly well
12I am not always clear about them
4I don’t know them well at all
0Don’t know

How would you rate your own knowledge of the rules and laws that dictate who can and who can’t use HOV or carpool lanes?

Portland Metro
< 3535+
3442I know the laws and rules very well
4344I know the laws and rules fairly well
1411I am not always clear about them
73I don’t know them well at all
20Don’t know

When you’re driving on roadways that offer HOV or carpool lanes and you meet the legal requirements, like the minimum number of passengers or using them during approved times, how often do you drive in the HOV lanes?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
17Always
30Usually
25Sometimes
14Rarely
12Never
2Don’t know

When you’re driving on roadways that offer HOV or carpool lanes and you meet the legal requirements, like the minimum number of passengers or using them during approved times, how often do you drive in the HOV lanes?

Portland Metro
KidsNo Kids
2214Always
3228Usually
1927Sometimes
1414Rarely
914Never
43Don’t know

When you’re driving on roadways that offer HOV or carpool lanes and you do not meet the legal requirements, like having the minimum number of passengers or using them during restricted times, how often do you drive in the HOV lane anyway?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
3Always
4Usually
5Sometimes
12Rarely
73Never
3Don’t know

When you’re driving on roadways that offer HOV or carpool lanes and you do not meet the legal requirements, like the minimum number of passengers or using them during approved times, how often do you drive in the HOV lanes?

Portland Metro
< 5555+
33Always
51Usually
72Sometimes
167Rarely
6586Never
41Don’t know

When you do drive in the HOV or carpool lane without meeting the requirements, what is your most common reason for doing so?

Portland Metro
99Those who use HOV lanes illegally
12Running late and in a hurry
33Only doing it for a short time, like to pass
22More convenient because traffic is moving faster
13Better for the flow of traffic to keep all lanes open to all vehicles
4Don’t care if I get caught
4Other
11Don’t know

How often do you see other drivers using the HOV or carpool lane(s) when they do not meet the legal requirements for doing so?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
7Always
15Usually
44Sometimes
19Rarely
3Never
12Don’t know

Thinking about people who use the HOV or carpool lanes when they do not meet the legal requirements, how often do you think they get pulled over and ticketed for it?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
3Always
3Usually
24Sometimes
49Rarely
9Never
12Don’t know

Do you agree or disagree that enforcing HOV lane laws is a good use of law enforcement’s time and resources?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
14Agree strongly
34Agree somewhat
27Neither agree nor disagree
14Disagree somewhat
9Disagree strongly
3Don’t know

In your opinion, how fair is the cost of the ticket for violating HOV lane rules?

Portland Metro
362Those who use HOV lanes
12The cost is way too high
22The cost is a little too high
51The cost is about right
6The cost is a little too low
4The cost is way too low
5Don’t know

In your opinion, how fair is the cost of the ticket for violating HOV lane rules?

Portland Metro
< 3535+
1910The cost is way too high
2918The cost is a little too high
4254The cost is about right
28The cost is a little too low
06The cost is way too low
84Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use lanes restricted for buses and public transportation?

Portland Metro
462Those who drive
2Always
2Usually
3Sometimes
9Rarely
81Never
3Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use lanes restricted for buses and public transportation?

Portland Metro
< 5555+
41Always
31Usually
52Sometimes
117Rarely
7589Never
20Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use lanes restricted for buses and public transportation?

Portland Metro
KidsNo Kids
42Always
51Usually
62Sometimes
128Rarely
7185Never
22Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use handicap parking spots?

Portland Metro
462Those who drive
3Always
3Usually
3Sometimes
5Rarely
86Never
0Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use handicap parking spots?

Portland Metro
< 5555+
42Always
41Usually
33Sometimes
62Rarely
8292Never
10Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use handicap parking spots?

Portland Metro
KidsNo Kids
62Always
52Usually
42Sometimes
45Rarely
7989Never
20Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use parking spots reserved for charging hybrid and electric vehicles?

Portland Metro
462Those who drive
2Always
2Usually
4Sometimes
4Rarely
85Never
3Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use parking spots reserved for charging hybrid and electric vehicles?

Portland Metro
< 5555+
40Always
31Usually
53Sometimes
61Rarely
7995Never
30Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use parking spots reserved for charging hybrid and electric vehicles?

Portland Metro
KidsNo Kids
61Always
41Usually
64Sometimes
63Rarely
7689Never
22Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use parking areas and curbs marked as "loading zones?"

Portland Metro
462Those who drive
2Always
3Usually
5Sometimes
17Rarely
70Never
3Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use parking areas and curbs marked as "loading zones?"

Portland Metro
< 5555+
30Always
41Usually
65Sometimes
2014Rarely
6480Never
30Don’t know

When you know you’re not supposed to, how often do you use parking areas and curbs marked as "loading zones?"

Portland Metro
KidsNo Kids
41Always
71Usually
84Sometimes
1718Rarely
6374Never
12Don’t know

If you end up using one of these restricted lanes or parking spots, is it most often because:

Portland Metro
185Those who ever use them
51I’ll be doing it only for a short period of time
4I use them when I’m running late
8I use them when it’s more convenient
4I don’t care if I get caught

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 578 respondents in Washington and 427 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.2 and 4.8% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

Supplemental interviews were conducted with people living in the Seattle metro area, including King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, and those in the Portland metro area, including Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah and Washington counties. The sample size, 578 respondents in the Seattle area and 509 in the Portland area, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.2% and +/- 4.4% respectively at the 95% confidence level.

About PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. We are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more. 

Read more about HOV lane cheaters



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