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Technology helps enforce HOT lanes

ATLANTA -- With a ping, officers will know if drivers in Gwinnett's new toll lanes are claiming to carpool, so they can pull over violators.

The technology gives a boost to enforcing the high-occupancy toll lanes, which become effective in a week.

According to the State Road and Tollway's Malika Reed Wilkins, a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Safety means four officers with the motor carrier compliance division will be assigned to the new toll corridor -- 16 miles along Interstate 85 from Chamblee-Tucker Road to Old Peachtree Road.

Two are assigned to the morning shift from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and two are assigned to the evening shift from 2 to 10 p.m.

Each morning, a list of the vehicles who have indicated on their Peach Pass account that they are exempt from the toll -- by having at least three people in the car -- will be downloaded to the officers' laptops, and it will be updated throughout the day.

When an automatic license plate reader picks up one of the vehicles, a ding will alarm, and the officer can look and see if there are at least three people in the car, Wilkins said. If not, they can pull over the drivers and give a $75 ticket.

Wilkins also explained Friday the capability of drivers to set their toll mode on their Peach Pass account.

While people must set the appropriate status at least 15 minutes before they enter the lane, the system does not require people call or log on each time.

Wilkins said the system allows for people to set their status for an indefinite period of time or to just switch for one day, when maybe a third carpooler won't be along for the ride. The system can also be set to default for one mode on weekdays and another on weekends, if someone plans to carpool during the week but drive alone on weekends or drive alone during the week and have the family in tow on weekends.

"It gives you the flexibility to plan your travel," Wilkins said. "So (people) are not having to change (the mode) as often as they think they might."

Comments

Award88 2 years, 11 months ago

Because this doesn't scream big brother. I refuse to use the new HOT lanes out of protest.

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NewsReader 2 years, 11 months ago

A couple of points come to mind on these new HOT Lanes... First, let's talk about why we had HOV lanes in the first place. Politicians convinced the public the need for HOV Lanes because it was "greener" and that it encouraged people to carpool and that it was done so on the pretense of saving the environment. What a load of crap that has turned out to be. At the end of the day, it's not about the environment at all, but another revenue stream created by our government. Second, I have a Peach Pass. What a nice little scheme that is too where the government systematically holds hostage a minimum amount of money to use as they see fit for you to have the privilege to travel in the HOT lane. And best of all, "It gives you the flexibility to plan your travel," Wilkins said. "So (people) are not having to change (the mode) as often as they think they might." is a joke, right? Where is my iPhone App to do just that? So much for convenience!

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Oliver 2 years, 11 months ago

Oh don't be such a Chicken Little. Contacting the DOT is just a temporary technique the DOT is using right now. Pretty soon they'll be able to determine how many people are in the car by monitoring the GPS in your smart phone. Won't that be a improvement in technology for you - you won't have to contact them - Big Brother will already know.....

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Mack711 2 years, 11 months ago

We as taxpayers have paid for that highway one time already.Now they want us to pay for using the HOT lanes? There is no way this program is going to help move traffic more efficently. You only have to look at some of the accidents that have happened since the HOV lanes began. When all traffic stops it stops, period. So what is the advantage?

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