Ontario has installed HOV lanes on a major highway that have a new design and different set of rules that might be confusing for some drivers seeing them for the first time.

The Ministry of Transportation said the newly installed HOV lanes on Highway 400 in Vaughan were opened this week.

Here's how they work.

Existing HOV traffic lanes in Ontario allow for vehicles to enter or exit by moving across a dashed lane marking located along the HOV lane. 

The driver merges out of the HOV lane and straight back into the regular flow of traffic. 


The new design on Highway 400 uses a dedicated transfer lane for motorists to enter and exit the HOV lane. 

Motorists who want to leave the HOV lane must merge into the transfer lane before going back into the regular traffic lanes. 


Why is the government doing this?

The Ministry of Transportation told CTV News Toronto the existing HOV lanes provides “satisfactory guidance” to drivers who are entering and exiting during most traffic conditions. 

But in some situations, the government says there can be operational and safety concerns when HOV lane traffic merges back into the typically slower moving general-lane traffic.

The newly designed lanes give motorists a chance to slow down to the speed of regular traffic before merging back.

Highway 400 is currently the only place where these lanes exist and no changes have been made on Highway 404, Highway 403, Highway 427, Highway 410, Highway 417 and the QEW.