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Dear Santa: Sleigh Bell Tickets In Ontario

Dear Santa.  The OTD Legal team is looking forward to the holiday season and wishes you a safe journey as you deliver toys to boys and girls across the planet.  Here’s hoping that you keep on the ‘nice’ list of the Ontario Provincial Police and avoid any incidents as you spread your holiday cheer.  To that end, we’d like to take a moment of your busy holiday schedule to discuss Sleigh Bell offences here in Ontario.


The Ontario Highway Traffic Act section 77 states that:

“Sleigh bells

77. (1)  Every person travelling on a highway with a sleigh or sled drawn by a horse or other animal shall have at least two bells attached to the harness or to the sleigh or sled in such a manner as to give ample warning sound.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 77 (1).”

Undoubtedly your arctic reindeer will fall under the condition of ‘other animal’ and as such this section of the HTA may apply to you should you be travelling along one of our Ontario roadways.  As such, you will be required to maintain a minimum of two bells attached to the harness or sleigh as you travel.


Highway Traffic Act section 77(2) details the penalties applied upon conviction as:


(2)  Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 77 (2).”

In addition to this fine would be applied the victim fine surcharge and court costs in calculating your total payable fine.  While this is an incredibly minor fine, given the number of Ontario houses that you have to visit in one evening, these offences could quickly add up.  

It appears that the North Pole belongs under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Denmark.  I am unaware of any reciprocal agreement between Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark.  As such, it is unlikely that a conviction in Ontario would apply against your Denmark driver’s licence should you have one.

Fortunately, neither demerit points nor CVOR points are applied upon a conviction.


After some rudimentary calculations and basic Google searching on the physics and math surrounding the logistics of your yearly Santa Claus travels, you would have to travel at approximately 1,046.07 km/s (3,765,852 km/h).  The OTD Legal team would like to respectfully point out that in Ontario most city roadways are limited to 50 km/h with the 400 series of highways allowing speeds up to 100 km/h.  As such, you may wish to set aside a few minutes in your busy schedule to read our following two articles:


The OTD Legal team wishes Santa, our clients, and all of our blog readers a safe and happy holiday season.  Drive safely and avoid driving if you will be celebrating the season with a few drinks.  Keep mindful to obey the posted speed limits and always keep at least to bells on your sleigh, harness, or sled if you will be traveling along the Ontario roadways pulled by a horse, reindeer, or ‘other animal.’  If you do find yourself stopped by the police and charged under the Highway Traffic Act or Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, our friendly staff are here to help you and can be reached at or via our toll-free number 1-844-657-6869.

Posted under Traffic Ticket Defence

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