Two mannequins in car of man ticketed for HOV lane violation

Two mannequins in car of man ticketed for HOV lane violation. (Toronto Police Services)

Police patrols of the high-occupancy vehicle lanes during the Pan Am Games led to 1,735 tickets for improper usage and 2,000 tickets for other traffic-related charges. 

From June 29 through July 26, the duration of the Games, officers from the Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto police issued tickets for any vehicles in the HOV lanes with fewer than three passengers.

The most famous attempt to skirt the rules around HOV lanes came when a man was caught driving in the lane with two mannequins.

Opinions about the rules for HOV lanes during the Games was split. Many blamed the lanes for increased congestion, while others took advantage of the relatively congestion-free lane.

133 tickets per day

"Considering the amount of traffic that's coming in and out of Toronto, we don't see these numbers as excessive at all," said Toronto police Staff Sgt. Devin Kealey. "When you take those two numbers combined... you're ending up with 133 tickets per day."

Efforts were made to ensure motorists knew about the lanes ahead of time, he said.

"You'd have definitely tourists coming into the area that weren't familiar with the HOV lanes and then you'd have people that basically took their chances and decided that they were going to go into the lanes no matter what," Kealey said.

The HOV lanes will remain until Aug. 18, a few days after the Parapan Am Games wrap up, but are now open to vehicles with two or more people inside.

HOV lanes to toll lanes?

Premier Kathleen Wynne has said the lanes could return in the form of toll lanes.

The temporary HOV lanes have already convinced some driver change the way they get around the area, she said.

With files from the Canadian Press