HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) – Drivers who cheat the HOV system on roads that are patrolled by the METRO Police may find themselves getting a $200 ticket. The transit agency’s police force increasing enforcement of HOV lanes.
Starting this week, METRO Police have increased enforcement activities along North Freeway (Interstate 45 N) HOV lanes in an effort to discourage violators and improve travel speeds. That could mean they’ll soon be patroling an HOV lane on your morning and afternoon commute into and out of Houston.
“We’ve received complaints from customers on the North Freeway HOV that have noticed a reduction in travel speeds since school started. As traffic increases, commutes get longer. We want to help fix that,” said Tim Kelly, METRO Executive Vice President of Operations, Public Safety, and Customer Service.
Carpools, vanpools, and motorcyclists ride for free. Carpools of two or more people qualify to enter the lanes with the exception of the Northwest Freeway from 6:30-8 a.m. During those hours carpools on U.S. 290 West HOV must have at least three people. Solo drivers have the option of paying a toll to use them during certain times. A complete HOV/ HOT lane schedule can be found at this link.
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METRO Police patrol HOV lanes during all hours of operation. While they focus primarily on HOV lane safety and occupancy requirements, all state motor vehicle laws are enforced. Violators receive warnings or fines, which can range up to $200.00 per violation