KIRKLAND, Wash. — Those who are willing to pay or have enough passengers to drive in the express toll lanes on I-405 between Bellevue and Lynnwood can usually save some time.
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But what happens when there’s a crash and drivers need to get out of the express lanes?
The High Occupancy Toll lanes have double lines that drivers are forbidden to cross, expect in designated sections where cars are allowed to exit and enter. Otherwise, drivers can be ticketed.
A driver told KIRO 7 that’s exactly what happened when drivers in the toll lanes tried to avoid a backup.
She said she was driving on I-405 near Kirkland when there was a crash in the express toll lanes. Cars were stopped and traffic was backed up a mile. Meanwhile, cars in the lanes open to general traffic were cruising by.
The driver said cars that crossed the double lines to get out of the backup in the HOT lanes were pulled over by officers.
But shouldn’t HOT lane drivers be allowed to cross the double lines when there is a crash?
KIRO 7 Traffic Anchor Rachel Calderon asked Trooper Rick Johnson with the Washington State Patrol.
He said it’s really up to the trooper’s discretion whether a driver will be ticketed in that situation. If a driver was going too fast when they exited the lanes, they could cause another crash. That would be a reason for the driver to be pulled over, and possibly cited.
But, Johnson said, it really depends on the situation.
“It’s the answer no one wants to hear, but (drivers) need the information,” he said.
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