I lived on the island of Oahu in the small town of Wahiawa in the center of the island from 1980 until 1984 while
I was stationed at Pearl Harbor Naval Base on the ships USS Bryce Canyon and USS Jason. I rode a Honda 650 motorcycle
as my only means of transportation while living there. The trip from my house in Wahiawa to Pearl Harbor was about 18 miles one way.
Believe it or not, Hawaii had two Interstate Highways! (There are actually three now) Dubiously labelled H1, H2 and H3.
Now H2 ran from just outside of Wahiawa to Waipahu where it runs into H1 which runs from Barber's Point to Honolulu.
I would take these highways to get from my house to the ship and back during the regular commute times for most other traffic goers.
Hawaii is a pretty progressive state so they had already instuted "Car Pool" lanes on their Interstate Highways the same
as California had done to encourage commuters to find more economical ways to save gas. Remember, this was after
the unbelievably long lines at service stations following the first oil shortages created by OPEC in 1973.
The far left hand lane was the "Car Pool"
lane and you had to have two people in your vehicle to be allowed to use this lane during rush hours. The point was
to get people to use fewer cars or other means of transportation but bottom line was to conserve gasoline.
I thought riding a motorcycle fit into this
line of thought and since I was doing my part to conserve on gas, I would sometimes ride in the car pool lane on my bike.
One afternoon, about 3:15 as I was heading west on H1 in the car pool lane, I was flagged down by a
motorcycle cop standing along the shoulder of the road. At first I didn't think he was pointing to me but being paranoid,
as I am sometimes, I looked back in my rear view mirror and saw him waving me to the side of the road.
What on earth did I do wrong! I knew I wasn't speeding and the idea of being in the car pool lane didn't
cross my mind. The policeman rode his bike along the shoulder of the road until he came up to where I had stopped my bike.
He walked up to me and asked for my license. He was kind of shaking his head in sympathy as he said, "I know it sounds funny,
but motorcycles do not qualify to be in the car pool lane. I am going to have to give you a ticket."
Damn, I thought, just what I need, another ticket. I have had many speeding tickets in my life and none
of them were for more than 10 miles over the limit, at this point in time, anyway. Sounds like my luck was not changing.
I handed him my license. Just then a pickup truck with only a driver came around the curve riding in
the "Car Pool" lane. The policeman waved at the truck frantically trying to get him to stop but the driver
kept right on going. Quickly the cop stuck my license in his pocket, jumped on his motorcycle and said to me, "Follow me,
I have to stop this guy."
He sped off down the shoulder of the road in hot pursuit of the pickup truck. What could I do, he had my
license. So I heeded his words, jumped on my scooter and proceeded to follow right behind him on the shoulder of the Interstate.
Now picture this, with a 55 MPH speed limit here's
a motorcycle cop with his lights flashing driving 70 miles an hour down the shoulder of the road chasing after this pickup truck
and I am right behind chasing him also doing 70 miles an hour down the shoulder. Each car I pased by had some very surprised faces as I cruised
past them smiling while trying to keep up with the cop and my license.
After several miles, it was a really quick several miles, the cop had finally caught up to and stopped the pickup truck and by this time he
was really angry at this driver. Enough so that when I approached him he simply gave me back my license and
said "Please, just don't do it again." before he went to deal with the other driver.
Happily, I got back on my bike and continued my ride home with my license in my wallet. I never drove
in the car pool lane again!