DENVER — Over about three weeks, more than 40,000 drivers illegally weaved in and out of express lanes along the north corridor of Interstate 25 and C-470. While they all received a warning, the grace period ends this weekend and fines will begin on Oct. 1, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said.
CDOT said this number of drivers is nearly six times the amount who received weaving warnings during the 30-day grace period this summer on Interstate 70's express lanes in the mountains.
“We realize that 40,000 warnings sounds like a large figure, and in sheer numbers, it is,” CDOT spokesman Tim Hoover said. “However, it represents only a small proportion of drivers on these corridors, with the vast majority of motorists following the law and driving safely. Unfortunately, a minority of drivers are creating dangerous conditions for everyone on the road with their weaving.”
CDOT said more than 90% of the warnings issued were for vehicles with Colorado license plates, and most were Ford F-150s, Toyota 4Runners and Subaru Outbacks.
CDOT said new technology, cameras and roadway sensors have helped catch drivers who illegally cross over the double solid lines, something that Hoover said the public has complained about for years. Entering an express lane is only allowed when the lines are dashed.
Beginning Sunday, the warning period on C-470 in the south metro area and I-25 north of Denver will end, meaning drivers who cross the double solid white lines will receive civil penalties. They start at $75 and increase to $150 if they're not paid within 20 days.
These penalties are already in effect along the mountain corridor of I-70, but will ultimately apply to all express lane corridors in the state.
“Our long-term aim is to see this program dramatically reduce violations in the express lanes and help make travel safer for everyone,” Hoover said. “We hope this is the highest number of violations we’ll ever see.”