Keep it cool in the Express Lanes this summer

News Release

June 25, 2024 - Fines remain in effect for breaking Express Lane rules

CDOT hace llamado a los conductores para que mantengan la calma en carriles expresos en español

Denver — With summer travel increasing traffic volumes statewide, the Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to keep their cool in Colorado Express Lanes. These managed lanes offer a great alternative for motorists looking to bypass congestion, but drivers are reminded that Express Lanes rules still apply for the safety of all roadway users.

It’s been a year since the Colorado Department of Transportation introduced the Safety Enforcement Program on the I-70 mountain Express Lanes between Idaho Springs and Empire. Since then, the program, which promotes safety by fining motorists who violate Express Lanes rules, has been introduced on C-470 and I-25 between US 36 and E-470. Rules enforced as part of the program include:

  • Weaving across solid lines: vehicles can enter and exit the Express Lanes through the dashed lines only.
  • Using the I-70 mountain Express Lanes when closed: the lanes operate as emergency shoulders for disabled vehicles or first responders when they’re not operating.
  • Driving an oversized vehicle that has more than two axles or is longer than 25 feet in the I-70 mountain Express Lanes: these lanes are narrower than typical highway lanes and are therefore unsafe for oversized vehicles.
  • Violating these rules where the Safety Enforcement Program is active will result in a fine — technically called a "civil penalty assessment" — of $75. If this fine is not paid within 20 days, it will increase to $150.
  • Sophisticated roadside technology is used to enforce these rules. Drivers don’t need to be pulled over by law enforcement to be cited.

“Everybody’s excited to get out of the house and enjoy summer, but we want to make sure everyone stays safe and avoids getting a fine,” said Tim Hoover, deputy director of communications for the Colorado Department of Transportation. “In the last year, we’ve already seen the impact of the Safety Enforcement Program, with data showing a whopping 75% reduction in violations in the Express Lanes. We want to remind motorists these rules are in place for a reason — to keep all travelers safe.”

Signage along Express Lanes corridors where the safety enforcement program is active indicates that violators could receive fines of up to $250. This is the total amount allowed by state statute, but per the direction of the board of directors for the Colorado Transportation Investment Office, the government-owned business within CDOT responsible for Express Lanes, fines begin at $75.

For those who receive a civil penalty, there are several ways to pay the fine, including:

  • Paying online at with their license plate or notice number.
  • Paying with their notice number using the automated phone system at 1(800) 450-5167.
  • Colorado motorists can expect to see the program making its way to more Express Lane corridors this fall.

To learn more or to refresh your memory about the Express Lane rules, visit

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Get a Pass! ExpressToll saves drivers money every trip with an average of 40% savings compared to the pricing without a pass. Go to to get the pass that is right for you. The same ExpressToll passes (stickers or Switchable HOV Transponders) are used on all Express Lanes, along with E-470 and the Northwest Parkway.