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As soon as the government decided to sell permits for one person usage of the HOV lanes, the game was up. Enforcement is generously described as spotty,

It's an honour system, pure and simple. It was naive to create a road policy that would rely on police officers making very risky traffic stops for a non-critical infraction.

If the officer sees unsafe behaviour, such as improper lane changes into/out of the HOV lane (I see many motorists who use it as a high speed passing lane, crossing the solid white lines freely) or excessive speed (some people think the HOV lane allows higher speeds) - then I would expect they would see good reason to pull over the offender, and not having a second passenger is an additional offence that can be cited.... gravy for the court.

But pulling a car onto the left shoulder, into the narrow space against the center barrier, where there has been no adverse safety consequence, is not a good idea, and I'm sure that the OPP have bigger fish to fry.

- Paul
 
It's an honour system, pure and simple. It was naive to create a road policy that would rely on police officers making very risky traffic stops for a non-critical infraction.

If the officer sees unsafe behaviour, such as improper lane changes into/out of the HOV lane (I see many motorists who use it as a high speed passing lane, crossing the solid white lines freely) or excessive speed (some people think the HOV lane allows higher speeds) - then I would expect they would see good reason to pull over the offender, and not having a second passenger is an additional offence that can be cited.... gravy for the court.

But pulling a car onto the left shoulder, into the narrow space against the center barrier, where there has been no adverse safety consequence, is not a good idea, and I'm sure that the OPP have bigger fish to fry.

- Paul
I have see one car pull over in the HOV to date and seen the OPP fly down that lane thinking he was after a speeder, but went around that speeder.

Talking to an officer last night, he said they don't have the time to deal with traffic issues these days with crime being up. He said Friday night saw 3000 911 calls

On I-80 last week I saw something for the first time. A helicopter was a few 100 feet off the eastbound lanes with 5 flashing lights cars on the side for a speed trap. Speed limit is 70 and I was going with the flow at 80 and been passed by dozen of cars. Way different than my trip from Albany on I-90 where I was rarely pass doing 65.

End of the day, time to rethink the HOV lanes as I have been thinking of using that lane illegal the past year, especially for the new section.
 
I have see one car pull over in the HOV to date and seen the OPP fly down that lane thinking he was after a speeder, but went around that speeder.

Talking to an officer last night, he said they don't have the time to deal with traffic issues these days with crime being up. He said Friday night saw 3000 911 calls

On I-80 last week I saw something for the first time. A helicopter was a few 100 feet off the eastbound lanes with 5 flashing lights cars on the side for a speed trap. Speed limit is 70 and I was going with the flow at 80 and been passed by dozen of cars. Way different than my trip from Albany on I-90 where I was rarely pass doing 65.

End of the day, time to rethink the HOV lanes as I have been thinking of using that lane illegal the past year, especially for the new section.
Hov lanes should be only for transit vehicles buses. They also need to be separated with flexy posts. All you do is place license plate readers at certain points and automate the enforcement for offenders
 
It's an honour system, pure and simple. It was naive to create a road policy that would rely on police officers making very risky traffic stops for a non-critical infraction.

If the officer sees unsafe behaviour, such as improper lane changes into/out of the HOV lane (I see many motorists who use it as a high speed passing lane, crossing the solid white lines freely) or excessive speed (some people think the HOV lane allows higher speeds) - then I would expect they would see good reason to pull over the offender, and not having a second passenger is an additional offence that can be cited.... gravy for the court.

But pulling a car onto the left shoulder, into the narrow space against the center barrier, where there has been no adverse safety consequence, is not a good idea, and I'm sure that the OPP have bigger fish to fry.

- Paul
Simply installing some sort of camera enforcement would fix this. There has to be the technology to tell how many people are in a car and if they have green license plate.
 
Simply installing some sort of camera enforcement would fix this. There has to be the technology to tell how many people are in a car and if they have green license plate.
That would likely require

a) no tinted license plate covers
b) no tinted car windows
c) face-on camera photography (which for privacy reasons is not used by photo radar or 407 tolling)

I agree it's technically feasible - but it doesn't fit any party's political agenda as it comes up against several fairly sacred principles or privileges that people may feel they deserve.

If I were King for a Day I would (after cancelling the 413 and undoing the Greenbelt deal) install a raft of technology in cars and on highways to address a whole raft of driver misbehaviour - but I'm not, and the real world won't agree with it.

- Paul
 
The original westbound span of the 401 bridge over the Grand River is already well into its demolition (photo from yesterday):

20230811_150802.jpg
 
Drove the newly widened stretch last week in Milton/Mississauga and we REALLY need bollards / a barrier in the HOV lane buffer zone. The amount of vehicles I saw cutting across it willy nilly was shocking, and this was viewed both ways on my trip.

You'll occasionally see this happen on the HOVs of other highways but the 401's stretch is just something else. I assume it's due to traffic volume and the fact there are only two general express lanes- drivers get annoyed if there's like two trucks side by side or some slow passing taking place?

Transfer points exist for a reason- it seems this is more of a suggestion.

Could we get some camera system set up to help with enforcement perhaps? Easy proof to fine someone for abusing the buffer zone if they can can capture the license plate. The OPP would have a field day if they actually patrolled this more often.
 
Drove the newly widened stretch last week in Milton/Mississauga and we REALLY need bollards / a barrier in the HOV lane buffer zone. The amount of vehicles I saw cutting across it willy nilly was shocking, and this was viewed both ways on my trip.

You'll occasionally see this happen on the HOVs of other highways but the 401's stretch is just something else. I assume it's due to traffic volume and the fact there are only two general express lanes- drivers get annoyed if there's like two trucks side by side or some slow passing taking place?

Transfer points exist for a reason- it seems this is more of a suggestion.

Could we get some camera system set up to help with enforcement perhaps? Easy proof to fine someone for abusing the buffer zone if they can can capture the license plate. The OPP would have a field day if they actually patrolled this more often.
While I would like to agree, they would get broken in winter or by people cutting across anyway and anything more rigid would be an accident nightmare.
One thing that could help is if our licensing system was better and people drove in the correct lanes i.e. move over like in Europe.

But alas, that won't happen. Just have to wait for Self-Driving cars to remove drivers and no issue lol.
 
I see the same frequent bad behaviour on this stretch of highway. I’m convinced that the only solution is enforcement by photo using some sort of hybrid police patrol using the same concept as photo radar and red light cameras - ie record the offense digitally and then ticket the vehicle rather than the driver - so no traffic stop is required.
The change I would make is that rather than the Bob Rae photo radar vans, I would use unmarked vehicles driven by police officers with a whole lot of tech so that the officer only has to press a button and make verbal notes or narration while the vehicle records speed, location, license plate etc. Then the officer can download and review/process the data at end of shift rather than having a single officer reviewing all the data as is done with fixed cameras.
Just a fantasy idea perhaps, but it’s definitely time to use all possible technology to deal with all the bad behaviour and create more deterrence.

- Paul
 
Between my wife and I we have both a Hyundai plug-in hybrid and a Tesla, so use the HOV lanes frequently. More often than not, we don't bother between Milton and the airport because we either get stuck behind someone driving the limit (and then it feels like an eternity to the next transfer to get around them), or people going way faster than our usual brand of speeding weave into and out of them unsafely wherever they like. Either way, they don't feel particularly safe or effective.
 
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A lot of the more recent HOV additions on MTO highways don't save too much time right now as they were completed with other widenings so the highways are now rarely congested. The 400 lanes, 427 lanes, and 401 lanes are like that.

Over time as traffic grows they will become more useful.
 
I would use unmarked vehicles driven by police officers with a whole lot of tech so that the officer only has to press a button and make verbal notes or narration while the vehicle records speed, location, license plate etc. Then the officer can download and review/process the data at end of shift rather than having a single officer reviewing all the data as is done with fixed cameras.
Just a fantasy idea perhaps, but it’s definitely time to use all possible technology to deal with all the bad behaviour and create more deterrence.
I think this would be achievable using currently available technologies.

The driver support technologies in Toyota vehicles (and I assume other brands as well) do a good job of detecting lane markings and whether there's another vehicle ahead in the lane you are occupying. Doesn't seem like a stretch to extend that to detect the lane-buffer markings and detect when another vehicle crosses them.

This Kitchener based "scale up" could probably do it: https://miovision.com/trafficlink/video-detection
 
Drove to Mississauga yesterday during the week, its been a long time, one thing noticed and have heard from other's that the HOV lanes have made the lane beside it which is now the fast lane actually quite slow, there were a few times where trucks would go into that lane and that would cause a back up, traffic was moving but at 80-100kmh if that at times. By the way HOV was wide open seen about 15-20 cars use it or so. Slow back up now is between hwy 6 north and hwy 6 south and going thru Milton. Otherwise really liked how things looked, good job.
 
I don't think it makes much sense to have HOV lanes on highways that use the collectors/ express layout. HOV lanes work well on the QEW, 403, 404, but not on the collectors/ express portions of the 401. Having only two general purpose lanes on the express is silly and creates more problems than it solves.
 
Having seen these HOV lanes in the express, I think I'm unfortunately forced to agree that they don't work.

Not sure what the best way to move forward is though, as it seems a step backward to change them to general purpose lanes now.
 

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