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Unusual Ontario Driving Laws You Must Obey

She who must be obeyed. We’re talking about “R” (Regina) or the Crown. as the Province of Ontario is more commonly known. Time to brush up on little known Ontario driving regulations that could you trip you up next you get behind the wheel.

Cover Up

Covering your licence plate can get you a $115 fine. Chris Rowe was ticketed three times in 2015 for having a clear plastic dealer cover over his plate, even though it was easily readable. It’s illegal under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act to have anything touch, obstruct or cover a licence plate. Rowe used the cover to protect his personalized plate from rusting out.

Fast But Not Furious

Racing or driving a horse or other animal “furiously” down an Ontario highway is forbidden. It begs the question: just how furious does your horse have to be to get a ticket? 

‘Sleighed’ This One

Santa can drive his sleigh down the 401 on Dec. 24th, but only if he uses jingles all the way. The restriction is to “give ample warning.” We think most drivers would notice Santa, but who knows? Santa gets a $5 fine if only one sleigh bell is working.

No TV Tonight

No, you can’t watch Dancing With the Stars while you’re driving. Be warned: the kids and you are going down if you can see their TV screen while they watch Pick a Puppy. Prepping a PowerPoint on your laptop during traffic jams is a definite demeanor.  

Bang a Gong

If your car horn isn’t working, it’s apparently okay to “gong” other motorists. We’ll take their word for it: 

“Every motor vehicle, motor assisted bicycle and bicycle shall be equipped with an alarm bell, gong or horn, which shall be kept in good working order and sounded whenever it is reasonably necessary to notify pedestrians or others of its approach.” (Highway Traffic Act, RSO 1990, c H8, s 75(5)).

Mirror, Mirror in the Hall

Causing the sideview mirror to fall off while adjusting it is a ticketed offence, provided you are driving down the highway at the same time. Driveway mishaps don’t count. 

A Wheel Dilemma

Catch 22: If your wheel falls off through no fault of your own, it’s your fault.

Catching a Ride

Toboganning, skateboarding, in-line skating, coasting, sledding or steering a toy vehicle down the highway while holding onto a moving motor vehicle is not allowed. Or at any other time we suspect, presumably because you’d be going less than 40 kmh, also illegal.  

He Shoots, He Scores

Littering is offensive. Littering out the window of your car is an offence, unless you’re Wilt Chamberland and can hit the trash receptacle going 100 kmh.

Top Dog, Not!

You cannot drive down a highway with your dog on your lap, even if it is a lap dog.

Sparkling Clean Driving Record

Your wheels may be smokin’ hot, but smoking inside your wheels could get you $350 in fines.  London Sparkles Cleaning Service owner Harry Kraemer beat the rap in 2017 when Smoke-Free Ontario bylaw enforcement officers caught him taking a puff inside his SUV outside a Tim Hortons. Kraemer successfully fought tickets for smoking in an enclosed workplace, failing to post a no-smoking sign in the SUV and failing to properly supervise a workplace. His lawyer argued he wasn’t an employee — he collects dividends, not a salary — and the SUV wasn’t a workplace because it didn’t have a Sparkles decal on it. 

You Show Off, You

Stop screeching your tires. That’s just plain showing off or stunting, as it’s called.

Double Line, Double Bind

You can pass on a double line and not be charged. Or you can pass on a double line and be charged with making an unsafe pass if you pass unsafely. You take your chances.

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

Halifax taxi drivers can be fined for wearing a T-shirt. It’s legal to drive barefoot unless you’re a cabby, in which case you must wear shoes to hold up your socks. Wonder if those cute little sock liners count?

There’s No Deeper Clean…

Morning breath? Forget hailing a cab. Yup, it’s illegal.

Weird Driving Laws Around the World

And you thought Ontario driving laws were weird.

Driving topless is banned in Thailand but you can drive naked in Germany. As long as other drivers aren’t distracted.

You cannot drive while blindfolded in Alabama. Whether it’s wilful blindness — looking the other way on purpose — or just being blind to your surroundings that makes it illegal, we’ll never know.

Californians are known for being wild and crazy, but can get ticketed for jumping from a car going 65 mph (104.65 kmh). Is it stunting if you’re a stunt woman? Just wondering.

You might hope to jump from your car if you had a gorilla in the back seat (illegal in Massachusetts) or a  duck on your head (a no-no while crossing state lines in Minnesota). We keep our ducks in a row, preferably in the bathtub.

Respond in Court With a Sworn Affidavit 

Axess Law’s Ontario notary publics witness and seal your sworn affidavit for Ontario traffic court. Make a convenient, online video conference call 7 days a week, day or evening. Our notary publics e-sign via video conference and return your legal documents by email. In person appointments can be arranged at our Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices. Dial 1-877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto 647-479-0118 or use our online booking form to request an appointment.

Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s notary public services.

Photo by Ryan McGuire |Pixabay.

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