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HOV Lanes and the Pam Am Games

Traffic Tickets
jason-baxtorJason Baxter
Two or more persons lane sign

HOV lane chaos in Ontario! Yes, we get it, people are very upset that the province of Ontario has temporarily amended the rules on High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for the 2015 Pan Am games, set to kick off on July 7, 2015.  And in the lead-up to the games, we agree, it must be super frustrating sitting in traffic watching a completely free lane go unused! However, Ontario drivers have been getting dinged hard in the past few days, as the OPP cracks down on HOV lane violations. To best arm you this Pan Am season, here are the facts about HOV lanes in Ontario: 


Temporary HOV lanes will be open to:

    • accredited Games vehicles used to transport athletes, media, technical officials etc.
    • motor vehicles with 3+ occupants (from June 29 – July 27)
    • motor vehicles with 2+ occupants (from July 28 – August 18)
    • emergency vehicles
    • public transit
    • licensed taxis
    • airport limousines (on provincial highways only)
    • electric vehicles with green licence plates (on provincial highways only)
    • motorcycles (on City of Toronto roads only – Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner, Lake Shore Blvd.)
  • Temporary HOV lanes will operate from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and will be clearly marked with signs and pavement markings. source:

To prevent any potential charges on your driving record, which will also cost you up to 3 demerit points (how are your insurance rates these days?) as well if a motorist is caught and charged. X-Copper would strongly recommend that drives with less than three people in the car for the month of July, avoid the use of HOV lanes. Even more to this advice, X-Copper would strongly discourage Ontario drivers from hiring or purchasing manikins to place in their vehicle as a workaround to the whole issue. No joke, read more here:

If you have currently received or during the Pan Am Games receive an HOV lane infraction we would highly recommend that you contact us immediately to see how we can help you fight the charge and save your driving record.  Don’t forget you now can text a picture of any traffic ticket directly to X-Copper from your smartphone to 416-XCOPPER.

2 Replies to “HOV Lanes and the Pam Am Games”

  1. please review carefully..I don’t think there is actually an enforceable statute under the HTA for the HOV lanes in the dvp and on the gardiner as they are not kings highways but biways

    There is NO statute for the DVP and gardiner expressway in these laws..this relates to the fact that HOV lanes are not allowable on a byway just a highway..thoughts?

    1. Hello Anthony,

      To be honest, I am a little confused about your question here.

      You are right in that the Ontario Regulation you provided a link to does reflect the difference in the “Kings Highway 404” and of course the “Don Valley Parkway” not being part of it. However, that really has nothing to do with whether or not an offence for being in the H.O.V lane is enforceable.

      The actual offence of “Improper Use of H.O.V Lane” is one that comes from the “Highway Traffic Act”. Just as with most traffic offences here in the Province of Ontario.

      Within the Highway Traffic Act the actual definition of a “highway” is defined as:

      “a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; (“voie publique”)”

      Whether the province of Ontario owns a roadway or the city of Toronto (as in the case of the DVP) does not matter. Also, if the road is a small side street or a full on multi-lane 400 series highway also does not in any way mean an officer cannot enforce the law there.


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