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Strange And Uncommon Highway Traffic Act Charges In Ontario – Part 1

When people think of a “traffic ticket” they undoubtedly think of Speeding, Red Light, or Seatbelt tickets.  The Highway Traffic Act was first introduced in 1923 and in that time it has certainly accumulated some strange, or at least uncommon, areas of law.  Curious?  Let’s take a look at a few sections that you’re likely unaware of…

“Clinging to vehicles, bicycle passengers, etc.
Bicycle riders, etc., clinging to vehicles

178 (1) A person riding, riding on or operating a motor assisted bicycle, bicycle, coaster, toboggan, sled, skateboard, toy vehicle or any other type of conveyance or wearing roller skates, in-line skates or skis shall not attach it, them, himself or herself to a vehicle or street car on a highway. 2015, c. 14, s. 52 (1).”

Section 178(1) of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) deals with attaching yourself in virtually any manner to pretty much any type of vehicle.  Whether you’re on a bicycle, a skateboard, wearing roller skates, or even a set of skis…  If you attached yourself to a vehicle, you can be charged under this section of law.  While the charge wouldn’t carry demerit points, it would however result in a total payable fine of $110.00.  That makes for a pretty expensive joy ride!

“Bicycle passengers

(2) No person riding or operating a bicycle designed for carrying one person only shall carry any other person thereon.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 178 (2); 2015, c. 14, s. 52 (2).”

HTA section 178 goes on in subsection 2 to address a commonplace childhood experience.  As a youngster, did you ever provide a ride to someone on your bicycle handlebars or on little pegs attached to the rear wheel?  Well.  If you did, you could have charged by the police.  No demerit points, but a total payable fine of $110.00.  That’s a lot of money for giving someone a lift on your bicycle!

“Riding in house or boat trailers prohibited

188 No driver of a motor vehicle to which a house trailer or boat trailer is attached shall operate the motor vehicle on a highway if the trailer is occupied by any person.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 188.”

While this is likely common sense for safety…  Section 188 of the HTA prohibits a driver of a motor vehicle from allowing anyone to occupy a house or boat trailer that is being towed  by their vehicle.  This offence carries no demerit points.  However, for professional drivers the offence would carry a substantial 3 CVOR point penalty to go along with the $110 total payable fine.

“Soliciting rides prohibited

177 (1) No person, while on the roadway, shall solicit a ride from the driver of a motor vehicle other than a public passenger conveyance.  1999, c. 8, s. 7 (1).”

Ever thought of hitchhiking?  HTA section 177(1) says don’t do that unless you’d like a $65 ticket from the police (which would be significantly more expensive than taking a taxi or bus…).

“Soliciting business prohibited

(2) No person, while on the roadway, shall stop, attempt to stop or approach a motor vehicle for the purpose of offering, selling or providing any commodity or service to the driver or any other person in the motor vehicle.  1999, c. 8, s. 7 (1).”

In Ontario, it is fairly uncommon to be solicited for a commodity or service while driving.  However, most drivers have likely at least once been at a red light and had someone approach their car to  clean their windshield and ask for money.  Under HTA section 177(2), doing so can result in a $65 total-payable ticket!

If you’ve enjoyed reading through some of these less common sections of the Highway Traffic Act, watch for our follow up article including even more obscure sections of the HTA including what happens if you have to land your airplane on a roadway…!

If you are charged by the police for a Highway Traffic Act or Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act offence, protect yourself by knowing your rights and what penalties are attached to your offence(s).  We offer a no-cost, no obligation review of cases and can be reached via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869 or by email at

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