More than 40,000 drivers were caught on camera and received warnings this month for weaving illegally in and out of express lanes along Interstate 25 and C-470.
That’s nearly six times the number caught crossing over the double white lines between lanes during a month-long grace period this past summer on the Interstate 70 mountain express lanes, Colorado Department of Transportation officials announced Friday morning. The latest warnings were issued between Sept. 1 and Sept. 20.
“We hope this is the highest number of violations we’ll ever see,” CDOT spokesman Tim Hoover said in a news release.
An enforcement grace period ends Saturday. Drivers who cross those solid white lines on I-25 north of Denver and along C-470 now will be issued civil penalties. They’ll face fines of $75, which double to $150 if not paid within 20 days. The penalties will begin for violators along C-470 between the intersection with I-25 and Wadsworth Boulevard and along I-25 between the intersection with U.S. 36 and E-470 – areas where drivers consistently cross over the lines into express lanes to pass other vehicles.
Colorado authorities have been cracking down on traffic express lane rule violators, deploying more surveillance technology including roadway sensors, cameras and tracking software in an effort to improve highway safety.
Under state law, drivers may enter or exit express lanes only at points designated with signs and dashed lines. Colorado lawmakers last year boosted CDOT’s authority to crack down on express lane transgressors. CDOT officials plan to install surveillance sensors and cameras on all express lanes including those along I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs.
The 40,000 drivers caught crossing lines illegally is a large number, but it represents a small portion of total drivers on these highways. CDOT officials believe most drivers follow the law and drive safely, Hoover said.
“We have heard the public’s complaints about these reckless drivers for years, and now we have the technology to hold them accountable,” he said. “We’ve given out warnings for 30 days to these folks, but starting Sunday they’ll be getting civil penalties in the mail if they continue driving dangerously.”
More than 90% of the warnings issued went to drivers of vehicles with Colorado license plates. The most frequently cited vehicles were Ford F-150s, Toyota 4Runners and Subaru Outbacks, CDOT officials determined.
Express lanes are managed by the Colorado Transportation Investment Office, a government-owned business within CDOT. While signs along express lane corridors say violators could be fined up to $250. Drivers can learn more at the CDOT website.
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