Around 200,000 Clean-Air Vehicle Drivers Set to Lose Carpool Access Decals

On January 1, around 220,000 low-and zero-emission vehicle owners could lose the white and green clean-air decals that allow them to drive alone in carpool lanes. 

The point of introducing the stickers in the first place was to try and get more electric and green vehicles on the road as California continues to struggle to meet its climate change goals. However, the plan backfired and all the clean-air vehicles clogged the lanes and carpool became almost useless. 

But not everyone with a clean-air car receives these stickers and in 2017 a measure was passed to limit the number of people eligible for such a decal.

As of New year's Day, drivers who received their clean-air stickers before 2017 will have to buy new vehicles to qualify for the program, or purchase used cars that have never had a decal but would have qualified for one in 2017 or 2018, the LA Times reports. And some people who annually earn above a certain amount won’t be eligible for the stickers at all. 

A lot of clean-air vehicle owners are upset that they are the ones being punished for the slow HOV lanes when many "fuel-guzzling" solo drivers cheat and use the carpool lane to commute faster. 

According to Caltrans, only 8 percent of vehicles using carpool lanes in LA County have clean-air stickers. 

Essentially, the 214,949 drivers who got their decals before 2017 will be issued a sticker only if they buy a new car and the 132,733 vehicles issued a white or green decal in 2017 or 2018 are eligible to apply for a sticker that will provide HOV lane access until Jan. 1, 2022.

Photo: Getty Images

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