By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4)– Traffic in the Denver metro area seems busier than ever and the Express Lanes can be tempting for drivers.
“It’s a lot of people going in and out when they shouldn’t be,” Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis said.
Lewis said CSP gets quite a few complaints about unsafe drivers in the HOV and Express Lanes, often crossing the solid line to escape the toll cameras.
“There’s a marker that says you cannot cross,” Lewis said, “and that’s what we’re focusing on. Letting people know just because you paid to be in those lanes does not give you the right to break the law.”
Apparently, enough drivers are breaking the law to prompt increased patrols on Interstate 25 and U.S. 36. The private-public partnership that oversees the Express Lanes has called on CSP and other law enforcement to spend 4,000 hours a year patrolling the busy roadways.
“Ultimately we want people to be educated to drive safe and feel safe while they’re driving,” Lewis told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
In July and August, troopers issued nearly 900 tickets for lane change violations, speeding and failure to pay tolls. Some citations even came with a $1,000 fine.
“Yes, there can be a $1,000 fine for something, but it’s very few and far between,” Lewis explained. “That’s usually when something big has happened, like careless driving resulting in injury when a crash occurs or DUI.”
The big deal here is CSP is keeping a close eye on drivers, especially those who may think they are above the law.
“You may not see us at any given moment, but we’re certainly out there trying to prevent the tragedies before they happen,” Lewis said.
LINK: CDOT Express Lanes
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.