If you travel back and forth to the Twin Cities like I do a lot, you have no doubt wanted to use the MnPass lanes to avoid traffic because they are moving faster. Now using the lanes when the signs say open or outside of the hours they are reserved for vehicles that meet the requirements, is in most cases OK. The requirements to use the lane for free are to be a bus or a motorcycle or to have a vehicle with two or more occupants, or if you do not meet those requirements you have to get a MnPass transponder to pay for your use of the lane.

You preload the transponder with a dollar amount and then, depending upon the amount of traffic, anywhere from 25 cents to $8 could be deducted.

MnDOT says about 7 percent of the people who use the lanes are using them illegally. Hence the State Patrol crackdown which is being funded by MnDOT. The program will cost $2.6 million to dedicate six officers for two years to enforce 35W, 35E and I-394.

Remember that 25 cent to $8 charge I told you about? If you get caught using the lane illegally, it could cost you $120-$200 depending on which county is issuing the ticket and court costs.

MnPass subscribers are up to 30,000 this year up from 26,000 last year. To sign up, check out the MnPass website.

Those patrols are underway, so be careful out there.