Police asking motorists to adapt to Pan Am HOV lane restrictions

WATCH: Day one of the new rules for roads in the GTHA proved to be difficult for drivers and enforcement officers. Mark McAllister reports.

TORONTO – Despite frustrations caused by the temporary high-occupancy lanes for the Pan Am Games, Ontario police are reminding motorists to be mindful of the increased traffic volume and to adjust their driving habits.

“As with any change, there is an adjustment period to be accustomed to the travel conditions,” said Toronto Police Detective Sergeant Devin Kealey during a joint press conference on traffic enforcement Tuesday morning.

Monday’s official launch of the HOV lanes for Pan Am Games left many motorists fuming over added commute times and congestion.

READ MORE: HOV lane restrictions now in effect for Pan Am Games

The complaints were even echoed yesterday by Mayor John Tory who suggested the passenger restrictions should be changed back to two people per vehicle instead of three during the Games which begin July 10.

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Toronto police reported 12 collisions on Monday between 6 and 9 a.m. compared to none the week prior. However, Det. Sgt. Kealey admits the collisions could have been cleared up much faster.

“We are tweaking the resources in place to have faster clearance rates. As of this morning, we have four contract tows on standby,” he said.

Ontario Provincial Police are asking commuters travelling in and out of the city to use alternative means of transportation if possible and to take advantage of the HOV lanes by car pooling with three or more people.

But compared to Monday’s gridlock, OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt says he has seen a marked improvement in traffic incidents and congestion.

“I saw overall, a good compliance. The HOV lane was moving much more freely than the non-HOV lanes,” he said.

LET US KNOW: What are you doing to avoid the traffic congestion caused by the temporary HOV lanes? Let us know in the comment section below.