COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)--Starting January 1, the grace period for the express lanes located on I-25 North and C470 will end. That means drivers will have to pay in order to use these lanes. However, while those tolls won't start until the first of the year law enforcement in Colorado has already started fining people who continue to illegally swerve in and out of express lanes.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, it's an issue that's been going on for a while. People weaving in and out of lanes worsening not only traffic for everyone on the road, but even causing some accidents in the process.
"So what you can end up having is a very serious accident, and in fact, that is what happens in a number of instances. People side swipe or are rear-ended because they are weaving in and out of express lanes and causing accidents," said Tim Hoover, CDOT spokesperson.
Hoover said that since the start of the 'crackdown,' CDOT has caught more than 80,000 drivers weaving in and out of express lanes via their road security cameras. He also said people should not try to 'trick' the system, as they don't physically need to get pulled over in order to get fined.
He said most residents who have gotten fined have received them through the mail during the month of October.
"So as of the most recent report, we have sent about just over 35,000 violations, so essentially 35,000 fines have gone out to people," said Hoover.
CDOT's fines start at 75 dollars Hoover said, but they will double to 150 dollars if they're not paid within 20 days of being received.
"And of course what we did find in a number of instances is even with certain drivers who had gotten warnings, they still ended up violating during the express lane enforcement period. So you know, some people unfortunately had to learn the hard way," said Hoover.
But the word is getting out, Hoover said. Mentioning that since the 'crackdown' the number of folks weaving in and out of express lanes has dropped about 30 percent. However, he said he would like to see that reduction get closer to 50 percent.