[§291C-221.5] High occupancy vehicle lanes; emergencies. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, when a roadway includes one or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction that include a high occupancy vehicle lane or zipper lane, and at least one lane other than a high occupancy vehicle lane or zipper lane is closed by law enforcement officers or emergency services personnel because of a traffic incident or accident, any motor vehicle, regardless of the number of persons carried, that can safely enter the high occupancy vehicle lane or zipper lane shall, subject to subsection (b), be allowed to use the high occupancy vehicle lane or zipper lane.
(b) For the purposes of subsection (a), the director of transportation shall have the authority to declare an emergency to open the use of high occupancy vehicle lanes and zipper lanes to all motor vehicles regardless of the number of persons carried.
(c) For the purposes of this section:
"Accident" means an unplanned event involving a motor vehicle, resulting in damage to one or more motor vehicles, property damage, or personal injury.
"Incident" includes any accident or issue that disrupts the flow of traffic. [L 2009, c 82, §2]