OPP employing drones in crash investigation HOV enforcement

Updated:Provincial police are in their second day of enforcing driving restrictions in additional HOV lanes in the GTHA.The new temporary HOV lanes are set up to help move an expected increase in traffic during the Pan Am games. Anyone using the lanes must have at least three people in the vehicle unless they’re Pan Am officials or athletes, taxis, limousines, or electric vehicles.OPP Sgt Kerry Schmidt gave an update on the enforcement this morning and showed off the equipment they’ll use to patrol the highways and enforce traffic rules during the games, which start July 10th.“We saw overall good compliance with many motorists. The HOV lanes continued to move quite freely with the non-HOV lanes travelling more slowly.”“We did however find violators on the HOV lanes inappropriately. Upon being stopped most of these drivers if not all were aware of the rules and were there only hoping they would not get caught.”They are have also created dedicated teams to speed up collision investigations, which are already in action. “This morning we had a collision, full closure of Highway 401 eastbound in Milton.”“We were able to use the new technology, an unmanned aerial vehicle assisted us in forensically mapping and photography of the scene. It assisted us in the investigation, and opening up the highway much more rapidly than what would typically be done with traditional investigation.”Usually it would take at least an hour to map the scene; using the drone it less than 15 minutes.Police warn that traffic will be heavy during the Pan Am games and are urging people to carpool to take advantage of the HOV lanes, or use public transit.