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A High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane will specify criteria depicting who is allowed access to the lane. The most commonly known criteria being that you have more than a depicted set number of passengers in the vehicle along with you.

Failure to adhere can result in one of two HOV lane charges:

  • Improper use of high occupancy vehicle lane – HTA 154 (1)(3)
  • Fail to obey lane sign – HTA 154 (1) (c)

Some of the criteria in place may only allow certain types of vehicles like buses, limos, or taxis to use the lane. Another example of criteria may only allow access for vehicles with a specific “green” licence plate designation.

The criteria can differ depending on the lane, type of road, and the signage in place.

Ultimately, if you do not meet the depicted requirements and are caught within, entering, or exiting an HOV lane, you are committing a traffic violation. These offences may seem like very minor violations, however, the penalties for these offences will affect your driving record and could raise your insurance premiums.


  • 3 demerit points
  • A conviction on your driving record
  • Penalties for disobeying signs

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