The rights come under something called the ''Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991", which specifically exempts motorcycles from the occupancy requirements of HOV lanes.
This is for safety reasons, according to MassHighway. (Massachusetts)
New York city has defied the federal law and banned motorcycles from HOV lanes! (Mar 3 2008)
What is the reasoning behind the rule, that motorcycles are permitted, by federal law, to use HOV lanes, even with only one passenger?
The rationale behind allowing motorcycles to use HOV lanes is that it is safer to keep two-wheeled vehicles moving than to have them travel in start-and-stop traffic conditions.
NOTE: Apparently, you should be aware of local laws.
It seems that states can choose to override this provision of federal law if they determine that safety is at risk.
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