The Pan Am Games don’t officially get started for two more days but the Toronto Police have already nabbed the Games’ first event rules violator.
HOV lanes that allow for smoother travel between Pan Am venues have been in place in Toronto since June 29th. On Wednesday morning, around 8:50 a.m., a Toronto police officer was on the lookout for people using the HOV lanes illegally. The officer spotted a Dodge pick-up with a driver and two passengers. problem was, “the front-seat passenger did not appear to be life-like.” The officer pulled the truck over and made a startling discovery.
“The officer was immediately able to determine that the front-seat and back-seat passengers were dressed mannequins,” said the Toronto Police Service in a statement.
Bonus style points for dressing one of the mannequins in a Montreal Expos hat, we think. And on a positive note, police said, “everyone in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt.”
The violation comes on the a same day former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, noted example-setter, admitted he’s been sing the HOV lanes illegally as well.
“These HOV lanes are a complete disaster,” Ford said.
“I know I see people just going down the HOV lanes and saying, ‘OK.’ Basically catch me if they can. There were a lot of people I saw that were by themselves.”
Asked if he’s done that, Ford shrugged.“Me? I’ve gone on the HOV lanes,” he said.
“Absolutely, I have. I have to get down here sometimes.“I’ll just go in and out obviously. You know you’ve got to watch the cops over your shoulder, just sort of bob and weave. Not just me, a lot of people have.
The penalty for using an HOV lane illegally during the Games is pretty severe. If a driver is caught on a provincial highway, the charge carries a $110 fine plus three demerit points. Because Wednesday’s driver was on the Gardiner Expressway, which is considered a municipal road, he’ll only be fined $85, and won’t lose any points.