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SALT LAKE CITY — If you're one of the many drivers who use the High Occupancy Vehicle lane illegally, you better steer clear. The Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Highway Patrol are teaming up to catch violators.
We all want to get home a little faster after work and for some of us that means our steering wheel may happen to slip a little too far left. But if you don't have a couple passengers to back up your decision, you better be ready to hand over $82. Starting Tuesday, extra patrols in Utah, Salt Lake and Davis Counties will be looking for you.
"We've seen a lot more people crossing over that line going into the HOV lane," said Dwayne Baird with the Utah Department of Public Safety
About 17 percent of people in the express lane are violators, and that number increases with rush hour.
"It's not a passing lane and they're using it as a high speed passing lane," Baird said.
It may sound simple, but drivers aren't getting the message. There are only a few reasons why anyone should cross over. First, if you have more than one passenger. Second, you're on a motorcycle. Third, you have an express pass.
It's not a passing lane and they're using it as a high speed passing lane.
Lastly, if "there's an emergency vehicle and you have to move out of that lane but at that point you can't get back in over those double white lines," Baird said.
The number one excuse from violators: "I didn't know I was in a carpool lane."
Next time you want to speed home think about this: The carpool lane on average increases your speed by about ten miles per hour. That's it.
Once again the emphasis starts Tuesday and it will last through Thursday. But of course there is always patrol looking for violators.