highway 401 traffic u turn

Drivers spotted pulling dangerous U-turns to escape Highway 401 traffic in Toronto

Getting stuck in Highway 401 traffic is a suburban Toronto pastime, but some drivers were recently spotted going to perilous lengths to save a few minutes on their commute.

A video posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Friday morning shows just how far some motorists will go to escape the 401's notorious gridlock, where a group of cars can be seen pulling off U-turns to escape clogged express lanes and merge with fast-moving collector lane traffic.

The clip was captured through what is often one of the highway's busiest stretches, where it passes over Yonge Street in North York.

Like lemmings leaping en masse off a cliff, other drivers follow the leader in this incredibly dangerous stunt.

(Also, I'm just adding a note that lemmings don't actually commit mass suicide, and the folks at Disney actually killed a bunch of lemmings on video to spread this now-popular myth. I am not kidding. This is a very real morbid fact that you will never be able to un-know.)

At least eight cars were captured taking the highly illegal shortcut in the brief clip.

It appears drivers violated multiple traffic laws in the video.

According to section 153 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, "Where a highway has been designated for the use of one-way traffic only and official signs have been erected accordingly, vehicles and street cars shall be driven only in the direction so designated."

Section 156 of the Act states that "Where a highway is divided into two separate roadways, no person shall operate or drive a vehicle or lead, ride or drive an animal, from one roadway to the other roadway except where a crossing is provided."

This is far from the first instance of drivers taking illegal shortcuts to escape highway traffic in and around Toronto. Unfortunately, it probably won't be the last, either.

So, yeah. Even if you're a daredevil with no regard for your life or others, this is a definite no-no that is not worth saving you a few minutes in traffic.

Lead photo by


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