Submitted by Sarah Bradley, MA
High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes or HOV are lanes specifically designated for vehicles containing at least two passengers. HOV lanes are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are located along portions of Highway 403 and Highway 404 in the Greater Toronto Area.
HOV lanes are the inside lane (leftmost) and are indicated by specific signs and pavement markings. Entrance and exit to HOV lanes is restricted to specially designated zones.
The following types of vehicles are permitted to use HOV lanes, provided they contain at least two passengers (a driver and one other person): cars, minivans, pick-up trucks, taxis and limousines. Buses are allowed to use HOV lanes regardless of the number of passengers and emergency vehicles are exempt from HOV restrictions.
Single occupant vehicles are not permitted to use HOV lanes. Commercial trucks longer than 6.5 m and with a gross weight more than 4,500 kg and taxis and limousines with no fares are not permitted to use HOV lanes.
HOV lane usage can be monitored by enforcement officers stationed in enforcement areas along the HOV corridors; this allows OPP officers to monitor, stop and ticket drivers who use the lanes improperly. Offending drivers will be forced to re-enter the general lanes at the next exit zone.
HOV tickets carry a $110 fine and three demerit points.
For more information on HOV lanes, visit: www.mto.gov.on.ca/