The Integrated Security Unit (ISU), patrolling the highways during the just-concluded Pan Am Games, issued 3,735 tickets in a 28-day period.
Toronto and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers wrote 1, 735 tickets for improper use of the temporary High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and another 2,000 tickets for other Highway Traffic Act violations on the Games Route Network (GRN).
The ISU was charged with the responsibility of providing a safe and reliable road network to ensure athletes, officials and attendees reached their destinations in a timely manner during the Pan Am Games and the upcoming Parapan American Games, from August 7 to 15.
Although they began as requiring three people per vehicle for non-Games official vehicles, the rules have been relaxed to two people per vehicle from July 28 to August 18, from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., on portions of the QEW, Highway 401, Highway 427, Highway 404, the Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway, Lake Shore Boulevard (Toronto) and Jane Street (Vaughan).
“The number of tickets issued is not excessive at all when considering the footprint that the GRN and the HOV lanes took up,” said Staff Sergeant Devin Kealey, the TPS Pan Am/Parapan Games public information officer. “It worked out to about 133 tickets a day.”
Kealey praised the public for complying with the designated HOV lanes for the most part.
“It was definitely a learning curve for the first couple of days,” he said. “Things turned around after that and a lot of people started recognizing the advantage of getting the three-plus and accessing the HOV lanes. We also certainly had a lot of people who had a good experience travelling in that lane because they were moving along fairly quickly.
“There was also another part of the population that stepped up by either changing the times they were working or hopping on transit, which also really helped out.”
The OPP patrol the 400 series highways and Toronto Police are responsible for the Don Valley and Gardiner Expressway.