Columns & Advice
Your laws don’t apply to me: Here are 10 legal loopholes that could void a traffic ticket.
1. Fail to signal – S. 142(1,2) HTA. Signals are required “if the operation of any other vehicle may be affected.” Taken verbatim, no one around equals no violation. But really, is it such a hardship to signal all the time?
2. Improper left/right turn – S. 141(2,3,6,7) HTA. Normal turn lane restrictions do not apply to large vehicles that are unable to comply due to sheer size. That is, if a big-rig signals to make a right turn from a thru-lane (the second lane over) but an inattentive car driver still goes up its right side (in the marked right turn lane) and is struck during the turn, the truck driver isn’t automatically at fault.
3. Backing up on divided highway – S. 157(1) HTA. Not an offence if attempting to render assistance to another person and done in safety.
4. On-street “No Parking” zones. No violation if a valid Accessible Parking Permit is displayed and permit holder is being picked up/dropped off. An APP doesn’t allow you to park in fire routes, bus/taxi stand, no standing/no stopping zones, or within 15m of an intersection.
5. Fail to properly wear seatbelt – S. 106 HTA. Not required if driving in reverse or vehicle not originally manufactured with seatbelts. Users need not wear the shoulder belt portion on vehicles manufactured before 1974. Along with many specified professions in the regulations, delivery persons are exempt from seatbelt use (under 40 km/h). Also, doctors may issue a medical exemption letter.
6. Drive without proper headlight on motorcycle – S. 62(2) HTA. Motorcycles must have headlight on at all times while on the road, except if manufactured before 1970, in which case headlight only required at nighttime or in darkness.
7. Apply/secure/possess more than one licence – S. 35(1)(c,d,e) HTA. This illegal action usually aims to circumvent a suspension. A second licence is allowed if obtained solely to learn on motorcycle or if required by another jurisdiction.
8. No clear view to rear – S. 74(1)(b) HTA. A backseat full of cargo blocking your rear view is not a violation provided your vehicle has dual side mirrors – and your view of these is not obstructed.
9. Fail to display two plates – S. 7(1)(b) HTA. This, of course, doesn’t apply if the motor vehicle is registered in another jurisdiction that only issues one number plate (such as Québec). Motorcycles only require a rear plate.
10. Use of handheld, wireless communication device by driver – S. 78.1 HTA. MTO advises that use for calling 911 in an emergency, or when pulled off the highway, or lawfully parked is allowed under HTA Reg. 366/90. Use at stop light is ticketable, at police discretion.
Information above is of a general nature only. For legal advice or opinion, consult a lawyer or paralegal qualified in traffic law.
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