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A Complete Guide to Utah’s HOV Lane

SALT LAKE CITY — That far left, express lane looks pretty tempting to drivers trying to get out of delays and get moving along I-15.  But HOV enforcement means if you’re in that lane illegally, it could cost you $300 and a ticket.  UHP is hoping for hoping for voluntary cooperation from drivers.  But Trooper Stanton Tucker says, “Not a day goes by that I don’t stop someone for crossing the double white line or for an HOV violation in and of itself.”

On my ride-along with Trooper Tucker, he pulled over two violators within 20-minutes on I-15. In both cases, the drivers had the express lane decal.  But they made illegal maneuvers by crossing over that double white line.   Trooper Tucker says, “It’s a safety hazard for the people in the HOV lane, it’s a safety hazard for the people out of the HOV lane.”

UDOT Traveler Information Manager, Lisa Miller, says Utah’s HOV enforcement violation rate is on the rise.  Miller says, “In the past, it’s really been observed pretty consistently to be around 17 or 18 percent. But the last study we observed, there was a pretty big jump up to about 28-percent.”

Then you have to factor in cost.  UDOT Public Information Officer, John Gleason, says, “Last year, UDOT received $1.9 million in revenue from the Express Lane.  But after expenses, UDOT netted $164,000  which goes right back into the budget to maintain the program.”  To get more money, UDOT will have to go to the state legislature for approval.

About one in five drivers in the Express Lane on I-15 is there illegally.  Extra troopers have been in force in the last month keeping a sharp eye on drivers in the HOV lanes hoping that will encourage Utah drivers to, as they say, “comply voluntarily.”

 

 

UHP Trooper Tucker adds, “These aren’t ‘suggestions.’  If you want to be in the Express Lane, this is the law.”

The message: If you don’t want a ticket, be in a crash or a 300 dollar fine, obey the express lane rules and get your HOV sticker.