I-85 Express Lanes (HOT Lanes)
The Department of Public Safety is responsible for enforcing lane restrictions in the I-85 Express Lanes under Georgia Code Section 35-2-101(b)(8). Officers from the Motor Carrier Compliance Division monitor these lanes through video enforcement, invisible barriers, and other technology to ensure legal use of the I-85 Express Lanes at all times. The I-85 Express Lanes are located in the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area. The lanes are approximately 16 miles in length stretching from Chamblee Tucker Road, just south of I-285, to Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett County.
The I-85 Express Lanes are High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes that allow registered transit, three or more person carpools, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, and Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) with the proper AFV license plate (does not include hybrid vehicles) to use the Express Lanes toll-free. Vehicles with fewer than three occupants, including solo drivers, will be able to choose whether to use the general purpose lanes or pay for a more reliable trip in the Express Lanes. Vehicles with 2+ axles and/or 6+ wheels will not be allowed in the Express Lanes, as is the case in the HOV lanes. Based on the number of vehicles using the Express Lanes, tolls will vary to keep the lanes free-flowing, even during the height of rush hour.
All I-85 Express Lane users will need to register their vehicle(s), even ones that will be exempt from paying tolls.
Exempt vehicles include registered:
- Transit vehicles
- Carpools with three or more occupants
- Emergency vehicles
- Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) with the proper AFV license plate (does not include hybrid vehicles)
Violations issued by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) are $25.00, plus the cost of the toll. If a driver is pulled over by law enforcement for an Express Lanes violation, an additional citation may be issued (fines for a first offense start at $75, plus court fees).
Some violations include:
- Entering or exiting the Express Lanes improperly by crossing the double white pavement striping. Violators will be issued a $25 violation and could receive an additional citation from law enforcement if they are pulled over.
- Using the Express Lanes without a registered Peach Pass transponder.
- Adjusting the toll mode listed on your account to reflect more than three occupants in a vehicle (thus qualifying for toll-exempt travel) and then driving in the Express Lanes with less than three occupants. In addition to receiving a violation notice from SRTA, you will also run the risk of being pulled over by law enforcement and issued a citation.
- Faulty Peach Pass or Cruise Card transponders that do not read correctly may also result in a violations notice being issued. In this instance, customers should contact the Peach Pass Customer Service Center and replace the faulty transponder.
Fines and penalties for HOT violations cited by MCCD Officers, according to Georgia Code, Section 40-6-54:
- First Offense: $75.00 maximum (plus court fees)
- Second Offense: $100.00 maximum (plus court fees)
- Third Offense: $150.00 maximum (plus court fees)
- Fourth Offense: $150.00 maximum (plus court fees), and one point on the driver's record.
For more information on the I-85 Express Lanes and the Peach Pass, please visit the Peach Pass Website.