CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new occupancy detection system will be implemented by I-77 Mobility Partners on Monday to ensure drivers using HOV 3+ lanes aren't cheating the tolls along I-77.
Officials said this new system will help make sure tolls are charged fairly to drivers who use the I-77 express lanes from Uptown Charlotte to Mooresville. Facial images will not be made public but the system will use cameras to verify the number of people in each car.
According to a 2019 study by I-77 Mobility Partners, drivers can save 19 minutes each day by using the express lanes in the mornings and evenings.
The express lanes are free to use for vehicles with three or more people inside. All the driver has to do is declare HOV3+ status by using the NC Quick Pass transponder with the HOV3+ feature activated. I-77 Mobility Partners encourages drivers using the toll lanes for free to declare HOV3+ status through the NC Quick Pass at least 15 minutes before getting to the toll lanes.
Violators could face a $100 fine if the number on the transponder does not match the number of people in the car. That, in turn, could also unfairly increase tolls for other vehicles in the express lanes.
I-77 Mobility Partners said drivers will see more signs along I-77 to remind people the area is being enforced by cameras.