Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Emergency Vehicle Safety), 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 21 - Bill 191Skip to content
This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 191 and does not form part of the law. Bill 191 has been enacted as Chapter 21 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2002.
The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act to require drivers approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway with its red light flashing to slow down and to move into a lane not adjacent to the vehicle if it is safe to do so. A person who contravenes these requirements will be guilty of an offence punishable, for a first offence, by a fine of $400 to $2,000 and for subsequent offences, by a fine of $1,000 to $4,000, or to imprisonment for a maximum of six months, or to both a fine and imprisonment. The court that convicts a person of an offence may also suspend his or her driver’s licence for a maximum of two years.
An Act to amend the
Highway Traffic Act
to ensure the safety of
emergency vehicles stopped on a highway
and people who are outside
a stopped emergency vehicle
Assented to December 9, 2002
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Approaching stopped emergency vehicle
159.1 (1) Upon approaching an emergency vehicle with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light that is stopped on a highway, the driver of a vehicle travelling on the same side of the highway shall slow down and proceed with caution, having due regard for traffic on and the conditions of the highway and the weather, to ensure that the driver does not collide with the emergency vehicle or endanger any person outside of the emergency vehicle.
(2) Upon approaching an emergency vehicle with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light that is stopped on a highway with two or more lanes of traffic on the same side of the highway as the side on which the emergency vehicle is stopped, the driver of a vehicle travelling in the same lane that the emergency vehicle is stopped in or in a lane that is adjacent to the emergency vehicle, in addition to slowing down and proceeding with caution as required by subsection (1), shall move into another lane if the movement can be made in safety.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) or (2) prevents a driver from stopping his or her vehicle and not passing the stopped emergency vehicle if stopping can be done in safety and is not otherwise prohibited by law.
(4) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000; and
(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $4,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
Time limit for subsequent offence
(5) An offence referred to in subsection (4) committed more than five years after a previous conviction for an offence referred to in subsection (4) is not a subsequent offence for the purpose of clause (4) (b).
Driver’s licence suspension
(6) If a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (4), the court may make an order suspending the person’s driver’s licence for a period of not more than two years.
Appeal of suspension
(7) An appeal may be taken from an order under subsection (6) or a decision to not make the order in the same manner as from a conviction or an acquittal under subsection (4).
Stay of order on appeal
(8) Where an appeal is taken under subsection (7) from an order under subsection (6), the court being appealed to may direct that the order shall be stayed pending the final disposition of the appeal or until otherwise ordered by that court.
(9) In this section,
“emergency vehicle” means a vehicle described in subsection 62 (15.1), except that it does not include a school bus.