MnPASS Enforcement Assistance System (EASy)
The EASy system was designed to aid State Patrol in enforcing the MnPASS HOV 2+ lanes. The systems works by taking near infrared images and sending them directly to the Troopers onboard laptop. The Trooper can then make the decision if a stop is needed. The images are only shown temporarily, and not stored or used as evidence. The Trooper must still visually confirm that a vehicle is in violation. The purpose of this system is to both improve safety for the Troopers and increase enforcement efficiency. The number and safety of locations a trooper may park increases, and the number of false stops decreases due to MnPASS customers being filtered out. If a vehicle has a MnPASS tag, an image is not taken. In addition to the camera system, two beacons are also deployed and flash if a car does or does not have a MnPASS tag.
Initial tests took place on I-394 and have more recently been moved to I-35W and Black Dog Road. The system is deployed on the north bound lanes and will continue testing with the State Patrol throughout the winter months. Currently MnDOT is working with NEC, the company who developed the system, to come up with a cost for the system. At this point there has been no decision on how many sites will have the system installed. There will be more sites with beacons installed as they have proven to be a cheap, effective alternative.