There were no traffic jams on the Ben Schoeman highway this morning. Usually at 8am this highway is packed with cars.But this morning there were no frustrations as taxis, buses and vehicles carrying more than three people were travelling on the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane.

Joburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said as part of transport month they were encouraging motorists to use the dedicated lane from today until Friday. “This will help to ease up traffic on the highway,” Minnaar said.

This week, public transport and vehicles carrying three or more people can use the emergency lane from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 6.30pm on certain highways.

There were metro police officers all over the highway patrolling and helping motorists who did not know they were allowed to drive on the HOV lane.

Metro police officers were also stopping motorists who did not qualify to travel in this lane.

They all had excuses, but a driver of a green Mercedes-Benz told the officer his car was overheating. “How are the other motorists going to know your car is overheating. “You are alone in the car so you are not allowed to be on the HOV lane,” the officer said firmly.

After 9am motorists were still using the HOV lane. Officers warned that they would issue traffic fines if this continued.

One of the officers said they have had to arrest some of the motorists for travelling on the HOV lane, especially taxi drivers.

One motorist, Victor Mokoena, said he wished motorists were allowed to use HOV lanes regularly. “Just today I have seen a big difference. Usually at this time the traffic is moving very slowly, but today it’s much better. It is so frustrating to be stuck in traffic. Why is it only for a week? It must happen everyday, it’s a wise move,” Mokoena said.