(1) As used in this section and Section 41-6a-704 , “general purpose lane” means a highway lane open to vehicular traffic but does not include a designated:
(a) high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane; or
(b) auxiliary lane that begins as a freeway on-ramp and ends as part of the next freeway off-ramp.
(2) On a freeway or section of a freeway which has three or more general purpose lanes in the same direction, a person may not operate a vehicle in the left most general purpose lane if the person's:
(a) vehicle is drawing a trailer or semitrailer regardless of size; or
(b) vehicle or combination of vehicles has a gross vehicle weight of 12,001 or more pounds.
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a person operating a vehicle who is:
(a) preparing to turn left or taking a different highway split or an exit on the left;
(b) responding to emergency conditions;
(c) avoiding actual or potential traffic moving onto the highway from an acceleration or merging lane; or
(d) following direction signs that direct use of a designated lane.
(4)(a) A highway authority may designate a specific lane or lanes of travel for any type of vehicle on a highway or portion of a highway under its jurisdiction for the:
(i) safety of the public;
(ii) efficient maintenance of a highway; or
(iii) use of high occupancy vehicles.
(b) The lane designation under Subsection (4)(a) is effective when appropriate signs giving notice are erected on the highway or portion of the highway.
(5)(a) Subject to Subsection (5)(b) and beginning on July 1, 2011, the lane designation under Subsection (4)(a)(iii) shall allow a vehicle with a clean fuel vehicle decal issued in accordance with Section 72-6-121 to travel in lanes designated for the use of high occupancy vehicles regardless of the number of occupants as permitted by federal law or federal regulation.
(b)(i) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the Department of Transportation may make rules to allow a vehicle with a clean fuel vehicle decal to travel in lanes designated for the use of high occupancy vehicles regardless of the number of occupants as permitted by federal law or federal regulation.
(ii) Except as provided in Subsection (5)(b)(iii), the Department of Transportation may not issue more than 6,000 clean fuel vehicle decals under Section 72-6-121 .
(iii) The Department of Transportation may, through rules made under Subsection (5)(b)(i), increase the number of clean fuel vehicle decals issued in accordance with Section 72-6-121 beyond the minimum described in Subsection (5)(b)(ii) if the increased issuance will allow the Department of Transportation to continue to meet its goals for operational management of the lane designated under Subsection (4)(a)(iii).
(6) A person who operates a vehicle in violation of Subsection (2) or in violation of the restrictions made under Subsection (4) is guilty of an infraction.
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