Transportation

Metro Cracking Down on Drivers Who Use HOV Lanes Illegally

Police are now doing targeted enforcement on one of Houston’s busiest commuter routes

A Metro park and ride bus heads into downtown on the I-45 North HOV lane

Solo drivers are allowed to use Houston’s HOV lanes, but they can only get on during non-peak hours. They also need a toll tag.

Metro Vice-President Tim Kelly said once school goes back into session, that’s when they really see a jump in violations. And when the lanes get too crowded that slows down the buses and carpools that are there legally.

“We want to make sure that we can continue to maintain average speeds and we track that every month,” said Kelly. “We have a commitment to maintain an average speed of 45 miles per hour.”

Kelly said they want to encourage commuters to use park-and-ride buses and van pools and the HOV’s reliable trip time is what attracts people. He explained they’ve gotten lots of complaints about violators in the I-45 North HOV and that’s where they’re now targeting enforcement.

“One of the things about that enforcement location is there’s a gate to turn people back out onto the main lanes of the freeway,” said Kelly. “So, in addition to getting the ticket, they’re also going to be put back into the traffic of the main lanes of the freeway.”

And Kelly warns drivers they’ll also be targeting other HOV lanes in the future.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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