Officials seeing more drivers breaking HOV rules during pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After viewers complained about drivers violating the rules of the HOV lanes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Action 13 decided to investigate the issue.

"Today's trip home from Conroe was yet again a dangerous and frustrating experience, with about 80% of the drivers being single occupants. Are there any plans to utilize pickets, similar to the I-10 HOV lane?" one viewer asked.

Representatives from TxDOT said they cannot add pickets or pylons to separate the HOV in this location because they have to maintain access to the left shoulder to help disabled cars.

RELATED: 100+ mph speeding tickets up during quarantine

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and DPS enforce the HOV laws along that stretch of the I-45 HOV. Not only do they look for solo drivers hopping into the HOV, they also look for speeding drivers, which has been an even bigger problem since the pandemic.

From the data Action 13 collected from the city of Houston, there's been a big increase in tickets issued to drivers whose speeds exceed 100 miles per hour, many of whom have been pulled over in HOV lanes.

TxDOT advises drivers to contact the non-emergency number in the appropriate jurisdiction to report a person who is violating any law on a state roadway.

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