HOV Lanes to Be Reduced to Two Occupants Effective July 28, 2015

Update: see previous posts – July 22/15 Road Test Exams Cancelled Due To Pan Am Games, July 22/15 Temporary HOV Lanes to Evolve Into Permanent HOT Lanes, July 1/15 HOV Lanes: Pan American/Parapan American Games

During the Parapan Am Games there will be temporary high occupancy vehicle lanes which will require vehicle to have 2 or more occupants in the vehicle to use the lane. This will begin on July 28, 2015 and end on August 18, 2015, in or around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). From July 28 to Aug.18, the requirement to have 3 occupants will revert back to 2 or more occupants in the vehicle.
After the Pan Am Games and before/during the Parapan Am Games there will be temporary high occupancy vehicle lanes which will require vehicles to have 2 or more occupants in the vehicle to use the HOV lanes. This will begin on July 28, 2015 and end on August 18, 2015, in or around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). From July 28 to Aug.18, the requirement to have 3 occupants will revert back to 2 or more occupants in the vehicle.

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes

Ontario has had HOV Lanes for years now, adding different highways over the years.  Currently Ontario has HOV Lanes on Highways 403, 404, 417 and the QEW.

The City of Toronto operates 5 HOV corridors.  There are approximately 58 kilometres of HOV lanes, Typically these HOV Lanes operate during Toronto’s rush hours from 7 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

The temporary HOV lanes during the Pan Am Games required 3+ occupants in the vehicle. Beginning July 28, 2015 the 3+ occupant requirement drops to 2+ for the HOV lanes. The Parapan Am Games begin on August 5 - 18, 2015.
The temporary HOV lanes during the Pan Am Games required 3+ occupants in the vehicle. Beginning July 28, 2015 the 3+ occupant requirement drops to 2+ for the HOV lanes. The Parapan Am Games begin on August 7 – 15, 2015.

Temporary High Occupany Vehicle (HOV) Lanes

From June 29 to August 18, 2015 inclusive, there were temporary high occupancy vehicle lanes for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Beginning June 29 to July 27/15 – the HOV lanes required 3+ occupants.  Starting July 28, 2015 the same HOV lanes now require 2+ occupants.

July 28 – Aug. 18 (from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.): Temporary HOV lanes will operate on major routes such as parts of Hwy. 401, Hwy. 404, the Gardiner Expressway, the DVP, the QEW, Hwy. 427, Lake Shore Blvd., and Jane St. (north of Steeles Ave. W.)

•July 28-Aug. 18: Two-occupant HOV lanes will be in effect

Those temporary HOV Lanes will be open to:

  • Accredited games vehicles used to transport athletes, media, technical officials, etc.
  • Motor vehicles with 2+ occupants can occupy the T-HOV lanes from July 28 to August 18, 2015 – in or around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
  • Emergency vehicles, licensed taxi’s, Airport limousines(on Provincial Highways only)
  • Electric Vehicles with Green Licence Plates(on Provincial Highways only)
Ontario has 235 kilometres of HOV lanes for Pan Am, up from 85 km previously. Those extra kilometres of HOV lanes will end with the closing of the ParaPan Am Games later in August.
Ontario has 235 kilometres of HOV lanes for Pan Am, up from 85 km previously. Those extra kilometres of HOV lanes will end with the closing of the ParaPan Am Games later in August.

The penalty for improper use of the HOV Lane (see section 154.1(3) of the Highway Traffic Act), is a total fine of $110.00 and three (3) demerit points.

The Pan Am Games ran from July 10 to 26, 2015. The Parapan Am Games follow and will run from August 7 to 15, 2015.

The HOV lanes that were temporarily erected for the Pan Am Games and the Parapan Am Games will be found on the following highways:

  • Highway 401
  • Highway 404
  • Highway 407
  • Highway 427

The Ontario Provincial Police (the “OPP”) will be patrolling these highways and aggressively ticketing those motorists, who shouldn’t be driving in the HOV lanes.

The fines and penalties for improperly using the HOV lanes, on which the OPP patrol will be a $110.00 fine and three (3) demerit points upon conviction.

HOV Lanes - Ontario highways and Toronto highways. Ontario Highways: The fines and penalties for improperly using the HOV lanes, on which the OPP patrol will be a $110.00 fine and three (3) demerit points upon conviction. Toronto Highways and Roads: The fines for improperly using the HOV lanes on roadways on which Toronto police patrol is an $85.00 fine upon conviction - no demerit points.
HOV Lanes – Ontario highways and Toronto highways.
Ontario Highways: The fines and penalties for improperly using the HOV lanes, on which the OPP patrol will be a $110.00 fine and three (3) demerit points upon conviction.
Toronto Highways and Roads: The fines for improperly using the HOV lanes on roadways on which Toronto police patrol is an $85.00 fine upon conviction – no demerit points.

The HOV lanes that were temporarily erected for the Pan Am Games and the Parapan Am Games will be found on the following roadways:

  • the Gardiner Expressway
  • Jane Street(north of Steeles Ave. W./south of Highway 407)
  • Lake Shore Boulevard
  • Queen Elizabeth Way

The City of Toronto Police will be patrolling these roadways and aggressively ticketing those motorists, who shouldn’t be driving in the HOV lanes.

The fines for improperly using the HOV lanes on roadways on which Toronto police patrol is an $85.00 fine upon conviction.

Regulations for High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes

154.1 (1) Where a part of the King’s Highway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic, the Minister may by regulation designate any lane as a high occupancy vehicle lane for that part of the King’s Highway and may make regulations,

(a) limiting the designation to specified months or times of the year, days, times, conditions or circumstances;

(b) limiting the use of high occupancy vehicle lanes to vehicles, or any class or type of vehicles, with a specified number of occupants, and prescribing conditions and circumstances for such use;

(c) regulating the use of high occupancy vehicle lanes, including prescribing rules of the road applicable to the use of the lanes, exemptions from any requirement in this Part or in a regulation made under this Part applicable to the use of the lanes and conditions and circumstances for such exemptions;

(d) providing for the erection of signs and the placing of markings to identify high occupancy vehicle lanes and the entry and exit points for high occupancy vehicle lanes;

(e) prescribing the types of the signs and markings referred to in clause (d), instructions to be contained on them and the location of each type of sign and marking.  2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 25.

Regulation may be general or specific

(2) A regulation made under subsection (1) may be general or specific in its application and may apply differently to different classes or types of vehicles.  2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 25.

Offence

(3) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a high occupancy vehicle lane or enter or exit a high occupancy vehicle lane except in accordance with this section and the regulations made under it.  2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 25.

See the Fine under Schedule 43 – Highway Traffic Act:

460.2Improper use of high occupancy vehicle lane154.1(3)$85.00

Victim Fine Surcharge applied to the Fine of $85.00 of Schedule 43. Any fine between $76 to $100 attracts a Fine surcharge of $20.00 as seen in the chart below. If you add the fine of $85 + $20 (surcharge) and the Court Fee of $5.00 then the total payable amount for a conviction of improper use of the HOV is $ 110.00.

TABLE OF THE VICTIM FINE SURCHARGE:

Column 1

Column 2

Fine Range

Surcharge

$

$

0

50

10

51

75

15

76

100

20

101

150

25

151

200

35

201

250

50

251

300

60

301

350

75

351

400

85

401

450

95

451

500

110

501

1000

125

Over 1000

25% of actual fine

 

COURT FEE:

$5.00 Under R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 945: COSTS under the Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33.

The $5.00 fee is added to the fine and the victim fine surcharge.

Road Test Exams Cancelled Due To Pan Am Games

Update:

Temporary HOV lanes that require 3 occupants in the vehicle unless your public transit, a taxi or limo., a motorcycle or you have a Pan Am games permit. This is ineffect until July 27, 2015. Then is reduces to two occupants, with all of the other exemptions still in effect. A total of 1,137 road tests were cancelled by the Provincial government and drivers were asked to reschedule their road tests to a later time.
Temporary HOV lanes that require 3 occupants in the vehicle unless your public transit, a taxi or limo., a motorcycle or you have a Pan Am games permit. This is ineffect until July 27, 2015. Then is reduces to two occupants, with all of the other exemptions still in effect. A total of 1,137 road tests were cancelled by the Provincial government and drivers were asked to reschedule their road tests to a later time.

 

see source

More than 1,000 would-be drivers can only dream of life in the HOV lane — or any others, fast or slow — during the Pan Am Games.

The government cancelled final road tests for many budding motorists over concerns traffic in the GTA would be too heavy, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca confirmed Tuesday.

That decision, made in early June, has left critics scratching their heads.

“We have known about Pan Am for years, so why were road test bookings taken at this time to begin with?” asked Progressive Conservative MPP Michael Harris (Kitchener-Conestoga).

“It sounds knee-jerk. How many extra cars could there have been?”

A total of 1,137 road tests were axed and drivers asked to reschedule — with extra days made available at other times — “for the sake of keeping the region moving,” Del Duca told the Star.

His officials had been pushing for a 20-per-cent traffic reduction during the games and public transit has been increased to make sure thousands of athletes, tourists and commuters can get where they need to go.

Letters were sent or phone calls made by ministry staff more than a month ago to people who had booked road test appointments, telling them they would have to make arrangements for another time — although 150 have not responded to calls or letters but slots are being set aside so they won’t go to the back of the queue.

“I know it’s disruptive and that’s not always a fun thing,” Del Duca acknowledged, thanking future drivers and the people — parents, friends or diving instructors — taking them to the tests for their “sacrifice.”

It all appears to be for naught, said Peter Christianson, president of Young Drivers of Canada, which provides driver training to about 20,000 Ontarians a year.

“The fear was traffic would be horrendous, but that hasn’t happened,” he said.

“It wasn’t very well thought out and now we’re doing damage control,” added Christianson, who noted the changes “certainly messed up a lot of our instructors’ schedules. It’s a lot of wasted time and energy. It’s unfortunate.”

Some people had booked tests weeks or months in advance in hopes of getting their licences for work or family commitments, said New Democrat MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), his party’s transportation critic.

Five driver exam centres in the GTA were affected (Etobicoke, Downsview, Port Union, Metro East and Oshawa) on some or all days during the Pan Am Games when nearby events threatened to clog traffic. A total of 1,137 road tests were axed and drivers asked to reschedule.
Five driver exam centres in the GTA were affected (Etobicoke, Downsview, Port Union, Metro East and Oshawa) on some or all days during the Pan Am Games when nearby events threatened to clog traffic. A total of 1,137 road tests were axed and drivers asked to reschedule.

“I’m not sure how much traffic there could have been from this. Sounds like these cancellations were little more than an afterthought.”

Five driver exam centres in the GTA were affected — Etobicoke, Downsview, Port Union, Metro East and Oshawa — on some or all days during the games when nearby events threatened to clog traffic.

For example, road exams for all classes of licences were cancelled at the centre at Port Union Rd. and Highway 401 for the majority of the games, from July 10 to 26.

In Etobicoke, tests for G2 and M2 licences were scrapped on select days with road exams for all classes of licences now cancelled for the rest of the week.

There were no fees for switching road test appointments, which could be done at the same location at a later date or at a different drive test centre. Tests were added to the schedule at the Oshawa centre on two Saturdays, when it is not usually open.

No closures are in effect for the Parapan Am Games, which begin in August.

Iqaluit: No Charges Laid in Iqaluit Crash that Sent 2 Young Girls to Hospital

Update:

Nunavut RCMP will not be laying any charges in the case of a four-year-old girl and a six-year-old girl who were struck by a vehicle July 5 while they were riding bicycles outside Arctic Ventures Marketplace.
Nunavut RCMP will not be laying any charges in the case of a four-year-old girl and a six-year-old girl who were struck by a vehicle July 5 while they were riding bicycles outside Arctic Ventures Marketplace.

see source

Nunavut RCMP will not be laying any charges in a crash outside an Iqaluit grocery store that sent two young girls to hospital.

Police say they have completed their investigation.

A four-year-old girl and a six-year-old girl were struck by a vehicle July 5 while they were riding bicycles outside Arctic Ventures Marketplace.

The accident happened almost one year after a four-year-old boy died after being hit by a truck on the same stretch of road.

Both girls have since been released from the hospital.

Nunavut RCMP have completed their investigation and have decided that they will not be laying any charges in a crash outside an Iqaluit grocery store that sent a four year and six year old girl to hospital.
Two RCMP vehicles. Nunavut RCMP have completed their investigation and have decided that they will not be laying any charges in a crash outside an Iqaluit grocery store that sent a four year and six year old girl to hospital.

Takata Air Bag Recall Expanded to 1.5 million Vehicles in Canada

Update: see previous post – May 20, 2015 Recall of 33.8 Million Faulty Airbag Inflators

Takata recalls the airbags that have to date, caused 6 deaths and over a hundred injuries.  This turns out to be the largest recall in history.
Takata recalls the airbags that have to date, caused 6 deaths and over a hundred injuries. This turns out to be the largest recall in history.

see source

A worldwide recall of faulty airbags made by Japan’s Takata Corp. has now widened to include more than 1.5 million vehicles in Canada.

Transport Canada released a detailed list of the affected vehicles on Thursday following Takata’s agreement with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week to declare 33.8 million airbags in the U.S. defective. That makes this the largest auto recall in U.S. history.

The list of affected vehicles in Canada was posted online and includes the Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V, Chrysler products including the Dodge Ram and the Chrysler 300, BMW sedans and the X5, and Ford’s Ranger and Mustang.

Most of the affected models are from the 2001 to 2011 model years, although more recent Ford Mustang models are also covered by the recall.

The full list of the vehicles included in the recall can be found on Ottawa’s HealthyCanadians.ca website.

Canadians who want to check whether their vehicles are included in the recall can enter their vehicle identification number on their auto manufacturer’s website or by entering their vehicle’s make, model and year on Transport Canada’s road safety recalls database on its website.airbag

People are urged to contact their local dealers for free servicing if their vehicles are covered by the recall.

The Takata airbag recall began in 2008 over concerns that the airbag inflators could explode with too much force, spewing metal shrapnel into drivers or passengers when deployed.

The faulty airbags have caused more than 100 injuries and six deaths worldwide. But Transport Canada says it has no reports of any deaths or injuries in Canada from consumers or auto manufacturers.

Several automakers including Honda, Chrysler and BMW have already addressed the faulty airbags in some models in previous mandated recalls or voluntary efforts.

Honda said in a statement Thursday that it began a campaign to replace the airbag inflators on its 704,700 affected vehicles in December.

Chrysler Canada reported a voluntary recall of more than 258,000 vehicles in January. In an emailed statement, spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin said the company knows of only one injury related to the defect.

The 2008 Takata recall began with two Acura models and two Honda models produced in 2001 and 2002 and by 2014 had expanded to include vehicles from Mazda, Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, BMW and Subaru, as well as more Honda models.

It will take some time before Takata and other suppliers can provide the 33.8 million inflators needed to fix all the cars involved in the global recall. The company said it is currently producing 500,000 inflators per month, with plans to produce up to one million per month by September.

See Transport Canada’s recall database to see if you’re affected.

Impark Issues Fine to Paid-Up Customer

Update:

Torsten Eide says parking lot operators are issuing penalties to people who have already paid. (CBC)
Torsten Eide says parking lot operators are issuing penalties to people who have already paid. (CBC)

see source

An Edmonton man says Impark put an ticket on his windshield even though he’d paid and still had time remaining.

Torsten Eide said he managed to have his $50 ticket cancelled, but only after having to spend what he calls an unreasonable amount of time on the phone trying to reach someone at Impark.

He said he doesn’t believe his is the only case and that Impark could be collecting money it’s not entitled to.

Eide says the first two times he called the number on the notice, he heard a brief message advising him to call back later because of higher-than-normal call volumes, then was disconnected.

The third time he tried he got a different message and the line stayed open.

impak-tickets

Impark put a $50 Payment Notice on Torsten Eide’s windshield 10 minutes after he paid for an hour’s worth of parking.

“I was on hold for an hour and five minutes,” Eide claimed, describing listening to the brief recording over and over as “torture”.

“(It was) a short message directing me to where I could pay my fine. Nothing else, no other options. Pay the fine or wait.”

It was about a ten second loop. I had to listen to the message about 300 times I figure, before I got through to a customer service agent.”

Eide said the agent cancelled the ticket but he wonders how many others are paying penalties they don’t have to simply because they can’t get through to Impark.

“Perhaps they don’t want to deal with it because it’s a profitable problem for them,” he said.

Go Public called the Impark customer service line during business hours and got similar results — several hang-ups, then a 40 minute wait on hold.

Fine issued with 50 minutes remaining

Eide, who services aquariums at seafood restaurants, said he often parks at the busy Impark lot on Jasper Avenue and 99th Street.

Time stamps show that Eide registered his plate number and paid $8 to park for one hour. Ten minutes after that an Impark patroller wrote him ticket — one that would cost $50 if paid within 7 days, $75 after that.

The lot uses a relatively-new ticketless system where people enter their vehicles’ licence numbers and aren’t required to display a ticket in the vehicle.

Impark patrollers download data on what vehicles are paid-for directly from the parking kiosk to a handheld device.

Eide said once the patroller downloaded the data and began inspecting cars many more people could have pulled-in and paid, and that the patroller would be doing his rounds using now-outdated information.

“His information is only good at the moment he downloads it,” Eide said.

When Go Public interviewed Eide, the lot’s two payment machines often had people lined up to pay.

“Three, four people could have got a ticket in just that visit. And you multiply this out across the country, it’s many hundreds of people that this could be happening to on a daily basis,” Eide said.

Improvements are coming, Impark says

The problem Eide experienced is a very rare “flaw in the system”, according to Julian Jones, Impark senior vice-president.

“Clearly, in this case our systems did not provide the service that was expected for this individual customer,” Jones said.

impark-dashboard

People enter their licence plates numbers instead of buying a ticket to display on the dash. (CBC)

Jones said Impark is hiring more customer service agents and that people can also appeal their tickets via email through the website address printed on the ticket.

“The last thing we want is for this individual, or any individual. to say ‘I don’t want to deal with this company’,” Jones said.

Jones said Impark is switching to a system where once a customer enters a plate number, it is sent immediately to an internet cloud server, which the lot patroller can access in real time.

Second company, same error

Mark Wilson had exactly the same experience at a Diamond Parking lot right across the street.

“I came back with 15 or 20 minutes left and found a violation notice on my car,” Wilson said.

Wilson says he emailed Diamond and had the $52.50 ticket cancelled. He suspects this happens all the time.

“Even if they catch a couple of people unaware each night, that is $150 to $200 extra revenue. You multiply that by the amount of lots they cover and that’s a substantial amount,” he said.

Diamond Parking vice-president Mike Poirier said this mistake “is quite rare.”

Lawyers have told Go Public that parking companies would have difficulty enforcing their self-determined penalties in court because they aren’t backed by by-laws.

Although Eide didn’t have to pay Impark, he called Go Public to highlight a problem with their system.

“Impark isn’t treating their customers with any respect,” he said.