Police in Oslo and Bærum have started cracking down on motorists who use the right-hand lanes of main thoroughfares that are reserved for buses, taxis and electric cars with more than one occupant. Police caught around 30 cheaters in less than an hour on the E18 highway at Sandvika.
One man was actually caught with a dummy propped up in the front seat next to him, to make it look like he was car-pooling and thus allowed to use the lane that remains more open and allows legitimate users to drive by all others sitting in traffic.
Police were out in force at 7:30am last week to control the traffic flow, and eventually write out traffic citations of as much as NOK 5,350 (USD 637) for those caught cheating. Of the 30 offenders in the so-called “collective” lane, 19 were electric car drivers without any passenger. New rules call for electric cars to have at least one passenger in order to use the “free” lanes from 7-9am and from 3-5pm.
Norway’s electric car owners’ association has urged police to hold more patrols, to stop those driving illegally in the special lane. They fear that those cheating ruin the prospects for retaining special “el-bil” privileges in Norway.
Ten drivers caught were driving conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles that are never allowed in the lanes reserved for public transport and electric cars.