Intersections in Ontario can become a puzzle of signs and lights directing what you can or can not do. While watching nearby traffic and pedestrians for safety issues and perhaps juggling issues inside the vehicle such as a young child seeking your attention…it can be easy to misread a traffic sign or get caught in an awkward situation where you have to make a fast decision on how to best proceed.
Traffic Tickets under the Highway Traffic Act come with a fine, generally carry demerit points, and can impact your insurance costs. For commercial motor vehicle drivers these offences can also carry CVOR points and may impact their employment.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common intersection related offences issued in Ontario:
Fail To Yield To Pedestrian falls under section144(7) of the Highway Traffic Act. These offences carry 3 demerit points and 5 CVOR points:
(7) When under this section a driver is permitted to proceed, the driver shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within a crosswalk.
Disobey Stop Sign falls under section 136(1)(a) of the HTA and carries 3 demerit points and 3 CVOR points:
(1) Every driver or street car operator approaching a stop sign at an intersection,
(a) shall stop his or her vehicle or street car at a marked stop line or, if none, then immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk or, if none, then immediately before entering the intersection
Generic sign violations can be issued as Proceed Contrary To Sign At Intersection under section 144(9) of the HTA, carrying 2 demerit points and 2 CVOR points:
(9) The provisions of this section are subject to any sign, as prescribed by the regulations, forbidding a left turn, right turn, through movement or combination thereof that is posted at an intersection and every driver shall obey every such sign.
Green Light — Fail To Proceed As Directed falls under 144(12) of the HTA and carries 0 demerit points, but 5 CVOR points:
(12) A driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular green indication and facing the indication may proceed forward or turn left or right unless otherwise directed.
Disobey Lane Light is a generic traffic control light offence falling under HTA 144(10) with 0 demerit points and 5 CVOR points:
(10) Every driver shall obey every traffic control signal that applies to the lane that he or she is in and, for greater certainty, where both a traffic control signal that is not a bicycle traffic control signal and a bicycle traffic control signal apply to the same lane
More specifically, traffic light offences can be issued as Amber Light Fail To Stop under HTA section 144(15) for 3 demerit points and 3 CVOR points:
(15) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular amber indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle if he or she can do so safely, otherwise he or she may proceed with caution.
The other specific traffic offence is Red Light Fail To Stop as per section 144(18) of the Highway Traffic Act for 3 demerit points and 5 CVOR points:
(18) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular red indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle and shall not proceed until a green indication is shown.
These examples are certainly far from exhaustive when it comes to intersection related offences, but they help to illustrate some of the most common grounds under which Ontarians find themselves charged by the police. The penalties can certainly vary depending on whether you are a regular driver or a commercial motor vehicle driver. Certainly it is important to know what penalties you are facing before deciding whether to enter a plea of guilt or to contest the charges to see if they can be reduced or thrown out at court.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having been charged by the police, seek out the information necessary to making informed decisions. Our staff provide a no-cost, no-obligation review of matters. Our office can be reached via the toll-free number 1-844-647-6869 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.