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Own A Hybrid? Get Out Of The Carpool Lane

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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) For six years, California has rewarded drivers of the eco-friendly hybrid cars with an all-access pass to the carpool lane — a most coveted privilege in places as traffic-congested as Los Angeles.

That’s all about to change this Friday, when the 85,000 hybrid owners have to get back in line with the gas guzzlers, or face steep fines.

The change was originally scheduled for 2008 but hybrid owners pushed for an extension until July 1, 2011.

Now hybrids will lose the special privilege that rewarded drivers for saving gas and protecting the environment.

Starting Friday, don’t plan on getting in the carpool lane unless you have at least two people in your car or you may end up paying for your mistake.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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