A High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane will specify who is allowed to drive in the lane, including any specific restriction regarding types of vehicles. The most common criteria is that you must have more than the depicted number of passengers in the vehicle along with you.
Failure to follow this criteria may result in one of the following charges:
- Improper use of high occupancy vehicle lane – HTA 154(1)(3)
- Fail to obey lane sign – HTA 154(1)(c)
Some criteria may only allow certain types of vehicles, such as buses, limos, or taxis, to access the lane. Others may only allow access to vehicles with a designated green licence plate that marks the driver’s commitment to a cleaner Ontario. The criteria changes depending on the lane, differing signage, and the type of road.
If you do not meet the requirements shown and are caught entering, travelling within, or exiting an HOV lane, you are committing a traffic violation. The penalties for these seemingly minor offences will affect your driving record and potentially your insurance premiums.
Penalties for HOV Lane charges
- Three demerit points
- $110 set fine
- Conviction on your driving record