What do you think? Make your best guess before reading the answer.
Good news, mom, from California Highway Patrol Officer Bradley Sadek:
Yes, a child does qualify as a passenger in the HOV Lane.
Commonly referred to as a “Carpool Lane,” legally they are designated as “High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes” (HOV). The number of occupants required is indicated by signs that accompany the lane. This number varies around the state between two and three persons (regardless of age).
Another quick note, many drivers don’t read the signs! The signs accompanying HOV lanes indicate two things, how many occupants a vehicle must have to use the designated lane, and during which times that restriction applies.
Apart from the indicated times, the HOV lane can be used by all non-commercial traffic. There are, however, a few HOV lanes throughout the state that do not have applicable times and are in effect 24/7. So… avoid a fine, read the sign.
Have a question for a cop? Send it to Patch editor Brad Kava at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll get the answer for you.