For almost 90 minutes, Crystal police officers watched as car after car sped down the carpool lane on to Highway 100 from County Road 81 during rush hour Monday.
Only to then get pulled over and given a $130 ticket.
The Crystal Police Department Tuesday posted a timelapse video of their efforts to Facebook, saying they wanted to share some " traffic scofflaw shenanigans."
Squads sat there from about 3:45 p.m. until almost 5:15 p.m., specifically to target those lane violations, Police Support Services Manager Matthew Haga told BringMeTheNews.
The result: 40 tickets for "wayward folks flying solo in the carpool lanes," the post says. That's almost one citation every two minutes.
"It’s one of those areas that our officers like to focus on when they get a chance," Haga said.
They hone in on the carpool lane (also referred to as a "High Occupancy Vehicle" or "HOV" lane) about once a week, often times at the 36th Avenue Highway 100 ramp. But it depends on what else is going on, and if they have enough officers to cover regular service calls, according to Haga.
He said the 40 citations in about 90 minutes is pretty normal. They try to do it during rush hour, when they'll get the most traffic.
The Facebook video is from one squad car, but there were a couple more out there – a total of two marked, and one unmarked sitting near the entrance ramp.
"And people were still doing it," Haga said.
Carpooling and MnPASS
Minnesota law says carpooling is when two or more people travel together on a regular basis, as part of a pre-arranged deal. Children and infants do count as passengers, the Minnesota Department of Transportation notes.
Carpooling is the only way to use those entrance ramp bypass lanes. It also allows you to use MnPASS express lanes without paying, the department says.
It does not work the other way though – having a paid MnPASS does not let you use the carpool entrance ramp bypass lanes.