I thought the penalties for violating HOV rules on Charlotte’s new HOV lanes sounded pretty stiff, and I’ve got no problem with that. But it turns out they were not supposed to be so stiff, and I’ve got a problem with that.

Fines for HOV violations are supposed to be $10, not $100. The Highway Patrol already wrote up several $100 tickets and the NC DOT evidently firmly believed it was a $100 fine and used that number in press releases and on signage.

The thing is, no one actually bothered to read the law. This seems to be a recurring problem with DOT, which exists in its own little world. (Recall that I-485 and I-77 planners did not talk to each other before noticing that they were set to merge six lanes into two.)

The $90 difference in fines is not the issue. NC DOT must get its act together and quit acting like they are paving cow tracks to the farmer’s market.