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Thread: Highway Traffic Act - Common Q & A's

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    Exclamation Highway Traffic Act - Common Q & A's

    I've seen the same question asked repeatedly regarding certain laws, so I have compiled a list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding the Highway Traffic Act.

    This information is valid for Ontario only. Jeepers in other provinces should consult their own provincial statutes.

    If there are other related questions that you would like answered let me know.

    How many lights do I need on my vehicle?

    Lamps required on all motor vehicles except motorcycles
    62. (1) When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle shall carry three lighted lamps in a conspicuous position, one on each side of the front of the vehicle which shall display a white or amber light only, and one on the rear of the vehicle which shall display a red light only. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (1).

    Summary: You can get a ticket for having one headlight out, but not for having one rear light out. Only one red light to the rear is required, so you can drive with one burnt out. Brake lights are different: technically you don't need any unless your vehicle is over 2.05m wide or 6.1m long [HTA 62(29)]. Having said that you are required to signal slowing down or stopping either by stop lamps or by an arm signal. So if you have no brake lights and you don't use an arm signal, it is an offence [HTA 142(8)]

    How many lights can I have on at once?

    Strength of front lamps
    62. (9) No motor vehicle shall carry on the front thereof more than four lighted lamps that project a beam having an intensity of over 300 candela. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (9).

    Summary: This is generally meant for vehicles that use four lights for high-beams. You can have as many lights as you want on your vehicle, but only four can be operating at once assuming they are under the intensity limit. Off-road you can blind the deer with whatever you got.

    I want to remove my doors. Can I get a ticket for not having the side mirrors?

    Windshield wiper, mirror
    66. (1) Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle shall be equipped with,
    (a) a device for cleaning rain, snow and other moisture from the windshield so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver;
    (b) a mirror or mirrors securely attached to the vehicle and placed in such a position as to afford the driver a clearly reflected view of the roadway in the rear, or of any vehicle approaching from the rear. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 66 (1).

    Summary: 66 (1)(b) says a mirror that affords the driver a clear view to the rear. Therefore only one mirror is required, and you still have your centre rear view mirror when the doors are taken off. If the back of your Jeep was loaded with cargo and the rear view mirror was blocked you could get a ticket. And yes, you need one windshield wiper as well.

    My wheels stick out past my fenders. Can I get a ticket for this?

    Mudguards
    66. (3) Every motor vehicle and every trailer shall be equipped with mudguards or fenders or other device adequate to reduce effectively the wheel spray or splash of water from the roadway to the rear thereof, unless adequate protection is afforded by the body of the motor vehicle or trailer or by a trailer drawn by the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 66 (3).

    Summary: Your wheels can stick out all they want, but when it is wet this law can be used against you. This law is subjective to the police officers opinion. The body of the vehicle (including your fender flares) must reduce effectively the wheel spray or you will need to have mudguards installed, or wider fender flares. This offence can only be issued when the roads are wet. If you are leaving huge rooster tails behind your 35's, you can expect a ticket.

    One of my windows broke. Can I replace it with plexiglass?

    Installation of safety glass
    72. (3) No person shall install glass other than safety glass in the door, window or windshield of any motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 72 (3).

    Summary: Nope

    I want to decorate my Jeep with lights for Christmas. Can I do this?

    Intermittent red light restricted 62(14); Red light in front (15); Vehicles of firefighters (16); Flashing blue light on snow-removal equipment (31); Restriction on use of flashing blue light (32)

    Summary: There is quite a bit of information in the Highway Traffic Act so I won't quote it all. The key word in the Highway Traffic Act is "intermittent". You can have any colour of light on your vehicle so long as it does not produce "intermittent flashes of light". The only exception to this is a Red light, which also cannot be facing towards the front of the vehicle whether flashing or not.

    So use your coloured lights, but do not allow any RED to be seen from the front, and do not allow any of the lights to flash. Not guaranteed to have you not get stopped, but keep a copy of the HTA regulations with you so you can politely inform the officer you are conforming to the laws.

    Can I fold my windshield down and drive on the highway?

    Summary: There is no section in the Highway Traffic Act that says you must have a windshield, so yes you can fold it down and drive. Because your Jeep is not a motorcycle, there is also no requirement to wear a helmet when it is down. Of course, a windshield is needed for a safety certificate, and cracked windshields can be used as part of an Unsafe Vehicle offence, but those are separate from just folding it down. Keep in mind what a bee feels like hitting you in the head at 100kph though when you think of driving with it down.

    Some jeeps have recessed tail light mods so there is no licence plate light. What about this?

    Rear lamps to illuminate number plate
    62. (19) The lamp on the rear of a motor vehicle or trailer shall be of at least three candela and shall be so placed that it will, at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, illuminate the numbers on the number plate, or, if provision is made on the number plate or on any attachment furnished or required by the Ministry for affixing the lamp, it shall be affixed in the position or space provided, and the lamp shall face to the rear and reflect on the number plate a white light only. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (19).

    Summary: Yes, your licence plate is required to be lighted. An additional white running light should be installed above your number plate after modding the rear lights flush.

    Can I remove my centre mount stop light (third brake light) so that I can fit a larger spare or install a tire carrier?

    Summary: While the centre mount stop light is an equipment requirement for the manufacture and sale of a new vehicle in Canada, if it not required for the regular operation of the vehicle and can be removed [See 62(1) above]. I am not aware whether this is required when obtaining a safety certificate.
    Last edited by TopherTJ; 03-22-2005 at 11:51 PM.
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    some jeeps have recessed tail light mods. so there is no licence plate light. do you know what it says about that, and also 3rd brake lights, maybe you took it off because you installed another tire carrier, what about that just curious about these. thanks.

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    Originally posted by farook
    some jeeps have recessed tail light mods. so there is no licence plate light. do you know what it says about that, and also 3rd brake lights, maybe you took it off because you installed another tire carrier, what about that just curious about these. thanks.
    Answers added to above.

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    Topher, you need to go back to work! Great info though for those who are unaware for the upcoming season.

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    Good post! Can we ask you questions like they have on BC 4x4.com? Or is this just a general FYI?
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    can I change my steering wheel without getting in trouble?
    for taking out my airbag



    good post
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    I'd like a clarification on the no doors question. You answered the issue of not having side mirrors, but what about not having doors specifically?

    When I was at Paragon I heard that in Pennsylvania, if a vehicle came equiped with doors from the factory you needed to keep them on all the time. Just wondering if we have a similar law here.

    I also want to clarify that even if you're legal in your home province, when you go to another province or state you have to meet their regulations. Some Ontario folks have been harassed and gotten tickets when in Quebec since they have strickter laws (and they had Ontario plates ).

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    Originally posted by Yj_Driver
    I also want to clarify that even if you're legal in your home province, when you go to another province or state you have to meet their regulations. Some Ontario folks have been harassed and gotten tickets when in Quebec since they have strickter laws (and they had Ontario plates ).
    Took the words tight out of my mouth, I was wondering the same thing.

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    Originally posted by Sancza
    can I change my steering wheel without getting in trouble?
    for taking out my airbag
    I'll answer this one here because I don't have an HTA to quote for it. There is no law under the HTA that says you must have an airbag, or that it be in good working order for that matter.

    Safety regulations require that they be installed in new vehicles, but after the vehicle is purchased to my knowledge there is no offence for not gaving one. Having said that, it might be an item that is required to get a used vehicle certified, but someone who does MTO's certifications can clarify that.

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    Originally posted by Yj_Driver
    I'd like a clarification on the no doors question. You answered the issue of not having side mirrors, but what about not having doors specifically?


    As for the Highway Traffic Act, there is no law that says that you cannot have doors. There may be something in an Ontario Regulation about the original equipment theory you mentioned, but you'll have to let me do some checking to see what I can dig up. I can locate various offences that fall under the Ontario Regulations in the Highway Traffic Act, but I cannot find anything that would have to do with doors.

    I also want to clarify that even if you're legal in your home province, when you go to another province or state you have to meet their regulations. Some Ontario folks have been harassed and gotten tickets when in Quebec since they have strickter laws (and they had Ontario plates)
    This is tricky. The provinces generally have agreements between each other that provide exemptions for out of province vehicles. In my experience I have only ever seen these exemptions apply to equipment type offences, and not rules of the road.

    For example, in Ontario it is an offence to Fail To Display Two Plates [HTA 7(1)(b)(i)], but we allow Quebec vehicles to operate on roads in Ontario legally with only a rear plate. However, if you were to be driving in Quebec and were to make a right hand turn on a red light, you can be charged with an offence as there is no exemption for rules of the road even though you can make the same turn in Ontario (if this Quebec law is no longer valid, I apologise but you get the point).

    If another provice or state for that matter does have a law against taking the doors off then you may not be exempt and you could get charged. It is the reponsibility of the driver to be aware of any laws and to follow them. Ignorance is generally not a good excuse.

    I can only comment on Ontario laws, and like I said before I am not aware of any regarding the doors. If someone has ever received a ticket for having the doors off in Ontario I would love to know what offence they were charged with so I can do some more research.
    Last edited by TopherTJ; 03-29-2005 at 07:43 PM.

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    i herd that cjs had doors as an option so how would that work just say well sir i didnt buy them ???? or what about the reverse light you only need one right lol cuz thats all i got lol i inset mine and now i have to run a plate light
    i have my lights just over the fire wall just under my windshield will i get herassed for obstuckting view even thoug i can see perfect??
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    Ok YJ_Driver... I did some more digging.

    Checked with a veteren traffic officer, and he advised that there is no offence under the HTA for removing the doors. Also confirmed Sanza's answer to be correct with the removal of the airbag.

    Of course this only applies to Ontario and other provinces or states may require that you drive with the doors on.

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    Also make sure you put a wheel on with a horn...thats another easy ticket, if you dont have one..

    Originally posted by TopherTJ
    I'll answer this one here because I don't have an HTA to quote for it. There is no law under the HTA that says you must have an airbag, or that it be in good working order for that matter.

    Safety regulations require that they be installed in new vehicles, but after the vehicle is purchased to my knowledge there is no offence for not gaving one. Having said that, it might be an item that is required to get a used vehicle certified, but someone who does MTO's certifications can clarify that.
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    Originally posted by ROXXX
    Also make sure you put a wheel on with a horn...thats another easy ticket, if you dont have one..
    A simple push button to activate a horn will suffice, correct? Early mustangs and heavy trucks have a push botton that activates the electric horn that is not on the steering wheel.

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    Yes, anything can activate it so long as it works. You could probably get away with one of those squeeze bulb horns like they have on Model T's.... AAaaaWOOOOGha!

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    Heres another question for ya Topher: I want to remove the rear side windows (NOT the ones in the doors) from my 4 door xj and cover up the hole with sheet metal - panel van style. Can I legally do this?
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    Originally posted by meanxj
    Heres another question for ya Topher: I want to remove the rear side windows (NOT the ones in the doors) from my 4 door xj and cover up the hole with sheet metal - panel van style. Can I legally do this?
    Sure. So long as it is done in a fashion that wouldn't make the vehicle 'unsafe', such as having sharp metal sticking up. It would have to be a pretty poor install job for that to happen though.

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    Honestly the most commen ways to get pulled over in a jeep are not having a front plate (fail to display two plates)
    mudgaurds (having your wheels too far out)
    or not having proper documents because the rig wont pass emmisions and it cant get certified!
    most other tickets (for the most part) will be from an OPP officer with too much time on his hands, who has spent too many hours reading the HTA

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    ya, they like to ask where you sway bar links are to........had OPP (Ontario Provincial Pricks) ask me today...........too much time on his hands
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