Cross the line, pay the fine: New civil penalties for breaking Colorado Express Lanes rules take effect this summer along I-70 Mountain Corridor

News Release

June 19, 2023 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Colorado first in the nation to use advanced roadway technology to spot dangerous driving

Denver — Colorado is cracking down on motorists who drive unsafely in Colorado Express Lanes along the I-70 Mountain corridor. Beginning June 21 — this Wednesday — drivers will get warnings for violations such as using the Express Lanes when they’re closed, weaving across the solid yellow lines and driving in the lanes with an oversized vehicle.

But as of Friday, July 21, the warnings will cease, and drivers who commit violations will get fines, technically known as “civil assessment penalties.”

The I-70 Mountain Express Lanes are designed to relieve congestion during peak periods, such as holidays and weekends. They operate as shoulders during other times and are intended only for emergencies and breakdowns when closed. Cars weaving across solid lines, using the lanes when closed or driving an oversized vehicle that has more than two axles or is longer than 25 feet in the narrow lanes present safety hazards to all roadway users navigating the mountain corridor.

Enforcement will take effect June 21 with a 30-day grace period. Drivers who commit a violation will receive a warning mailed to the registered address of the vehicle. Again, warnings will cease, and fines will begin on July 21.

Violators will be identified using a sophisticated, first-in-the-nation technology system that includes sensors, cameras and software. These elements will work together to identify vehicles that are weaving in and out of the lane, using the lane when it’s closed or driving an oversized vehicle in the lane.

"This technology is a game-changer," said Tim Hoover, a CDOT spokesman. "It will not only help us identify and penalize drivers who are endangering themselves and others, we truly believe it will help save lives and make our roads safer for everyone."

Weaving in and out of Express Lanes increases risks of an accident because of significant speed differentials between traffic in the Express Lanes versus general purpose lanes. Meanwhile, driving oversize vehicles — such as tractor trailers, RVs or vehicles hauling boats and trailers — in the narrow Mountain Express Lanes can also cause an accident.

Finally, driving in the Mountain Express Lanes when they are closed is extremely dangerous, as a motorist could crash into a stopped vehicle, including those driven by law enforcement officers and maintenance workers.

“These violations are not only dangerous, they are illegal,” Hoover said. “We want motorists to arrive at their destinations safely, and we want to send a message that life-threatening bad behavior will not be tolerated.”

In 2022, the Colorado legislature passed HB22-1074, allowing the Colorado Transportation Investment Office to enforce Colorado Express Lanes rules using advanced roadway technology. Fines start at $75 for a first offense if paid within 20 days of receipt. After 20 days, the fine increases to $150.

The civil penalties will eventually apply to all Express Lane corridors in Colorado, but early enforcement will focus on the I-70 Mountain Express Lanes, starting with the Mountain Express Lanes from Idaho Springs to US 40.

For more information about Colorado Express Lanes, click here to go to