Since 1995

Ontario Highway Traffic Act – What’s Legal ?



Our Guest Speaker for September was Jack West , a retired police officer Metro Toronto Police Officer.  Jack presented examples of the highway traffic act such as:

  • How the dealership frame around the rear license plate is illegal
  • How a trailer hitch can be considered illegal
  • Ontario is considering removing the front license plate
  • What constitutes distracted driving and stunt driving

There were quite a few Question and Answers afterwards.

Here is a link to the Government of Ontario website listing what is legal and illegal

Extensive list of Fines and Payments per offense

Link to General License Renewals and so on

Below is a followup to the Q&A at the meeting:
One of your members asked if you can do a lane change within an intersection? I cannot find anything in the Highway Traffic Act that prohibits this. The below information is taken from the Ministry of Transportation.
Do not go over lane markings or change lanes in the intersection. If your lane is blocked by a vehicle turning left or a vehicle edging into the intersection from the right, slow down or stop instead of pulling out to go around the vehicle.

I would suggest due to the nature of any intersection, the amount of traffic and pedestrians, if a motorist makes a lane change within an intersection they are placing themselves and others in a dangerous situation. Not only due to the volume of traffic and pedestrians, these cause view obstructions due to the fact intersections are busy places. Investigating a driver making a lane change within an intersection causing an collision, I would consider a charge of Careless Driving.

Another member asked about the Pedestrian Crossover on Browns Line in Etobicoke if you had to wait for pedestrians to completely cross the entire road at this location. I went out and looked at this crossing today. It is a peculiar one. If you were travelling S/B on Browns Line this half of the roadway will have its overhead lighting on when pedestrian(s) are entering and not for the N/B. Pedestrians  would leave the west curb crossing the S/B lanes.  You would have to  wait until these pedestrians arrived at the west curb of the centre island. I do not feel you have to wait for the pedestrian to completely cross the entire roadway. It appears this is a dual purpose cross over for some reason.  This may be due to Browns Line having 4 lanes of traffic and this Cross Over has been designed as just for safety reasons.  I believe you would have to deal with each direction separately. If I find anything further on this, I will pass it along.

You had a member, he’s a courier driver asked what a legal stop is. He suggested you count 3 seconds. Please pass along to him that as long as the wheels have completed a full stop that is all that is required by law. I was impressed with his 3 second rule as this may save a life when an impatient motorist is about to enter the same intersection from the second intersecting roadway.