Bay Area Hybrid Drivers Lose Carpool Sticker Perk

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A California 'clean air vehicle' sticker is seen on the front bumper of a Toyota Prius on May 6, 2011 in San Rafael. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A California ‘clean air vehicle’ sticker is seen on the front bumper of a Toyota Prius on May 6, 2011 in San Rafael. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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(KCBS) — Bay Area hybrid vehicle drivers began lining up just like the rest of commuters back from the holiday weekend Tuesday after their special gold stickers to access carpool lanes expired.

With the special key-shaped sticker, hybrid drivers sailed solo through carpool lanes during peak commute hours without any threat of a citation unless they were breaking laws in other ways.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

>> Current Bay Area Traffic Conditions

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Trent Cross said the program technically ended last Friday, but drivers were getting a free pass during the holiday weekend. CHP officers are now left with a few options.

“They may issue a citation, they could possibly give a verbal warning, and in certain circumstances, an arrest may be needed,” said Cross.

This incentive program began in the summer of 2005 with an estimated 85,000 carpool access stickers issued to hybrid owners. Drivers with white stickers don’t have anything to worry about.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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