WHEN CAN MTO PULL YOU OVER?
When can an M. T. O. pull you over? M. T. O. is an acronym for Ministry of Transportation, and it refers to a Ministry of Transportation vehicle. They are very different than a fully marked police cruiser, but the question comes up about their jurisdiction to pull over any vehicle in Ontario. And the answer is they can pull over any vehicle they see out on a highway, which could be any road, all roads are considered highways that are reasonably used by the public. The reality is those types of vehicles, as we know, are very focused on larger trucks; commercial motor vehicles, any type of truck is where their focus is going to be.
But the reality is that they do have jurisdiction over any vehicle using those highways, including my own or your own. And it’s important to be aware of that. They do have some jurisdiction, and if you are on a highway and they see something that’s gone wrong, and they wish to charge you with an offense under the Highway Traffic Act or the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, they can.
The problems that I’ve seen historically is that, you know, when a client believes like, well, I’m not a commercial motor vehicle, I’m driving a white Yaris and why would they be what they can’t be trying to pull me over and those situations can escalate and then they will invite, you know, an OPP or a regional police officer to get control of that, that vehicle.
So, the answer to the question is they do have jurisdiction on any road in Ontario but it is limited.