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Driving tips for a Yank?

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Houston, TX
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Driving tips for a Yank?

Will be driving Hertz rental from Buffalo airport to Toronto week end next, and back to Buffalo Monday mid morning.

Is the 407 a E-Z pass type toll road only? Any special routing better Monday monring back to the Peace Bridge?

Any other special driving tips for rookie visitor to Toronto area (no right on reds, no left on one ways and the like)? Thanks Jack

London, Ontario
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1. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

The 407 uses either a transponder or they capture the plate number and bill you using the information in the Ontario Government Data Base that links the plate number to the car owner. There may be a restriction when you take the car that you cannot drive on the 407. There are no toll booths like the NY Thruway. Also, if you are heading downtown the 407 doesn't go in that direction but north of the city past the airport. Assuming that you are not going to Niagara Falls, just cross at the Peace Bridge and travel QEW all the way. Some routings from the AAA take you over the Lewiston Bridge, but you still end up on the QEW eventually. Going back Monday, depends on the time you are going. But most traffic is heading into the city in the a.m. and the traffic outbound is lighter. But there is really no time on the QEW that traffic is light. It is just less crowded at some times than others, and less stop and go than other times. Right turns are permitted on reds as long as the way is clear , turn left on one ways go to the left lane and wait for the light to change or way is clear and turn. Make sure that you clear the intersections before the light turns red as at some intersections, that is a ticket if you get trapped in the intersection...and quite a few intersections are red light camera'd now, so they snap your pic when you run the red light.

West Grey, Ontario
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2. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

Hi;

There are some rental companies that will not permit their cars across the border, or have different pricing if the rental car goes out of the state/province/country. They will use the on board GPS system to track your travels, and charge you accordingly. Have the rental company make a note on your rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car in to Canada.

Fill the tank on the US side if possible, as gasoline is much more expensive in Canada. Current gas prices in Toronto are approx. $1.10 per litre. There are 3.8 litres to a US gallon.

About the toll charges on Hwy 407.

The rental car company will receive the bill, as its their license plate. Then the rental company will charge a “service or processing fee” on top of the toll charges, and then charge the total amount to your credit card.

Most definitely, stay away from the 407.

Best Regards

Cincinnati, oh
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3. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

Don't crash.

All kidding aside, I don't find Toronto that hard to drive in. In comparison to L.A. I think it is much easier. Just watch out so you don't run any lights, from what I remember, they are on the side of the street instead of overhead like most cities in the States.

Toronto
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4. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

I have 1 very important tip.

We have streetcars here in Toronto. They are a trolley car on a track and are in the middle lane of the street. When the car stops at a stop the doors open to let people on and off. The driver in the outside lane MUST stop to avoid hitting anyone. When the streetcar stops, just stop behind the back door.

Ont
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5. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

on the 401, 407, QEW etc the outside lane is for passing, stay out of it unless you are actually passing! yes I drive the highways often & get annoyed at people who pick a lane & stick to it because too afraid to change lanes!

London, Ontario
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6. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

Excellent point tessky...and a costly fine if the OPP decide to enforce the rule.

detroit
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for Niagara Falls
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7. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

Well thats funny, because I drive no fast than 115 km in Canada, most of the time 110. These big semi's go 120 km-not much longer thanks to speedlimiters-and if nobody is in the left lane, I move over for them. Its easier for my car to change lanes than a semi. Almost all of the times after the semi pass, they flash their tail lights a few times-like saying thank you.

Canada needs to take a good look at it speed limits. Nobody drives only 100 km. Everybody-even cops-think its OK to go over the limit a bit. Thats the problem-how much is OK, everybody has diff answer. Traffic is the safest when all traffic is at the same speed, which its almost never is on the 401

London, Ontario
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8. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

Well still smoking, I think many of us do move left to let the speeding semis pass on the right, which incidentally really is not permitted. Overtaking (passing) is, under the traffic act, to be done on the left.

On the 401 because there are two different sections,2 lane and 3 lane, different rules apply, which was news to hundreds of Ontario motorists several yaers ago when the OPP began enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act persuant to Multilane Highways, and received costly tickets. On 3 lane, no trucks, including pick ups, are allowed in the lane beside the median barrier. However, there is an exception to this (which floored pick up owners) which is, that if the pick up is licensed not as a truck but as a car, then it can be in that lane. However, the lane closest to the median barrier is for passing only, and people who drive long distances without pulling over, if observed can be ticketed.

The extreme right hand lane is not a driving lane either, but is to be used to enter and exit the highway. I haven't figured this one out really, as this means there is only one true driving lane. On 2 lane sections, all trucks may pull out to pass, but not drive in it, the same rule applying to cars as well. I think it will take some time before the speed governors will come into law (105km/h). The basic rule really, is to keep up to the traffic speed which is usually between 110 and 115 kmph. Tickets actually start after you go 120 and above. However, at any speed if you are weaving in and out of the lanes you are likely to be stopped. For those actually using the 401 from Windsor up as far as London, there is increased surveillance on that section as there are almost daily accidents lately. A special Highway Surveillance Force has been formed and they are using black unmarked cars as well as the new black and whites to cut the speeding. Although they are supposed to be more visible, I don't agree. they are harder to see in my opinion.

Puerto Vallarta...
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9. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

take the qew all the way and got off on bay street you will find the view better as well

the 407 tends to head to the north of the city , taking you further away

bruce

detroit
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for Niagara Falls
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10. Re: Driving tips for a Yank?

Yes, thanks for the tips. I cross at the Blue Water Bridge to spend the less poss. time on the 401. I do move right back over to the right lane.Most of the 402 is only 2 lanes.

I seen in the Star by the fall all trucks will have a gover. Wish the speed limit was just like here in MI 70-think thats 112 or 110 would be good and fair but then maybe 130 would be OK but 100 is too slow. The USA had 55 or like what 90 km but we change it-after 25 years-hope it does not take Canada that long too

Most drivers are good-its just the 5% who cause 90% of the problems.