PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some drivers in the HOV lanes of the Parkway North got a rude awakening, when officers pulled them over Wednesday morning.

Pennsylvania State Police officers wrote more than 60 tickets, and gave out 14 warnings to drivers who were driving alone in the HOV lanes.

“We were very surprised at the number of violators that we had,” said Trooper Robin Mungo, of the Pennsylvania State Police.

However, the crackdown caused a nine-mile long traffic backup.

“I don’t want to say I apologize; it’s unfortunate that they had to sit in the backups, but in our profession it kind of comes with the territory,” said Trooper Mungo.

Officers want to remind drivers that the HOV lanes are restricted to multi-occupant vehicles between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

HOV lanes are designed to promote ridesharing via carpooling, vanpooling or public transportation, with the exception of motorcycles, to reduce the congestion on I-279.

Officers say they will continue to issue citations for HOV lane violations.

“We weren’t doing it to purposely make anyone late, but we can’t enforce that law any other time,” said Trooper Mungo.

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