Eight full-time Minnesota State Patrol troopers enforce the E-ZPass lanes. The E-ZPass violation rate is 16%. In 2020, troopers stopped a total of 10,897 cars for traffic violations and issued a total of 7,365 traffic citations and 11,870 traffic warnings. Of those totals, 2,276 citations and 706 warnings were for E-ZPass violations. The remainder were for other violations.
Troopers use a variety of tools and techniques to identify E-ZPass violations.
- They visually identify vehicles in the lane that do not have a valid E-ZPass tag.
- They look for other occupants in the vehicle (if two or more, E-ZPass is free).
- They use mobile equipment to verify if an E-ZPass tag is working, when it was last read, and if an individual’s account is in good standing.
- They look for vehicles that illegally cross the double, solid white lines.
- They use beacons and other technology to help identify whether a valid E-ZPass tag is in the vehicle.
When a potential violation is spotted, the troopers pull the suspected vehicle to the shoulder, either left or right, to verify occupancy and issue a citation or a warning. Depending on the county, an E-ZPass citation can cost up to $300.
While the E-ZPass troopers’ primary focus is to identify MnPASS lane violations, they do not ignore other things such as speeding, distracted driving, mobile phone use, or expired tabs. They also assist with other incidents if needed.