Good news for riders in the Centennial State: The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has issued a motorcycle free pass in Colorado express lanes normally reserved for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Here is more about how it works and how to stay safe when you ride express and HOV lanes.
What Changed for Colorado Motorcyclists?
HOV express lanes in Colorado are lanes intended for cars with three or more occupants, a.k.a. carpooling vehicles with a driver and at least two passengers. These lanes may require a toll from other vehicles for usage to regulate traffic and reduce travel times.
Many HOV express lanes in Colorado have been available to motorcyclists for some years, but riders still needed to buy an ExpressToll pass to use them. Now, following a reform by the CDOT and HPTE (High Performance Transportation Enterprise), motorcyclists can ride in these lanes for free, without an ExpressToll account or pass. This new rule makes HOV express lane use much easier and more straightforward for bikers.
Which Routes Do the Motorcycles Free Pass Cover?
Keep in mind that the free pass for riders doesn’t extend to all express lanes in Colorado. Some roads require a toll even from HOV vehicles, and to use these routes, you’ll still need to prepay a toll balance and get a pass if you want to avoid the significantly larger license plate toll.
Express HOV lanes that are free for motorcyclists with no ExpressToll pass include US 36, North and Central I-25, I-25 South Gap, Central 70, and C-470.
Toll roads that are NOT free and still require a pass include Eastbound and Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane, Northwest Parkway, and E-470.
Top Safety Practices for Riders Using Express Lanes
The free pass in Colorado express lanes will help many riders get to their destination faster. At the same time, stay vigilant and ride defensively when using these lanes. Many drivers in express lanes tend to speed and may not pay attention to motorcyclists.
These express lane use tips for bikers will help you stay safe on your rides in Colorado:
- Observe speed limits. Please remember that general-use lanes and express/HOV lanes have the same speed limits. Make sure you stay within the speed limit, even if other motorists don’t.
- Use the dashed line to enter and exit express lanes. Riding through the double white line or weaving between lanes are traffic violations that could lead to heavy fines in Colorado.
- Don’t use an express lane as a passing lane. It’s extremely unsafe for both riders and other motorists.
- Use appropriate safety gear. Although helmets for riders over 18 aren’t mandatory in Colorado, it’s hard to overstress the importance of wearing a reliable DOT-approved helmet. A helmet could save your life if you ever end up in an accident.
- Keep your distance. Other drivers often don’t notice riders or misjudge the distance a motorcycle needs to brake. Stay alert and leave ample distance between yourself and other vehicles. This goes double during snowy or rainy conditions.
Law Tigers: A Legal Network Fighting for Bikers’ Rights in Colorado and Across the USA
Enjoy a speedy and safe ride as you use the motorcycles free pass in Colorado express lanes! If the worst happens, attorneys at Law Tigers are here to defend your rights and help you seek compensation.
Call 1-888-863-7216 for a free case review any time, 24/7.