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Crossing a closed road
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Highway 21 is often closed in the winter. I and a lot of other people need to cross Highway 21 to get to work. Several people have told me that if a highway is closed, it's not only illegal to drive along the highway, but to cross it on any intersecting road, because while you cross it you're technically driving on a closed road.

Is this true?


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Re: Crossing a closed road
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
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Location: Ontario
This is the actual section from the Highway Traffic Act:

Quote:
Highway closing
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a police officer may close a highway or any part thereof to vehicles by posting or causing to be posted signs to that effect, or placing or causing to be placed traffic control devices as prescribed in the regulations.

Driving on closed highway prohibited
(3) Where signs or traffic control devices have been posted or placed under subsection (2), no person shall drive or operate a vehicle on the closed highway or part thereof in intentional disobedience of the signs or traffic control devices.

Exception to subs. (3)
(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to,
(a) the driver of a road service vehicle, an ambulance, a fire department vehicle, a public utility emergency vehicle or a police department vehicle; or
(b) a firefighter, as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, driving a motor vehicle other than one listed in clause (a) while performing his or her duties.

No Crown or road authority liability
(5) Every person using a highway closed to traffic in accordance with this section does so at the person’s own risk and the Crown or road authority having jurisdiction and control of the highway is not liable for any damage sustained by a person using the highway so closed to traffic.


The way the section reads, yes, you would be operating your motor vehicle on a closed highway. Would a police officer actually charge you? Not sure how likely that would be.

If the crossing was in the middle of nowhere, I'm guessing not likely. If it's at a major intersection and the officer saw you drive around the barricades/do not enter sign, more likely.

And be mindful that you drive on the road at your own risk. I'm curious if there might be some issues with insurance coverage if you were in accident on the closed portion.


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Re: Crossing a closed road
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:30 am 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
I'm with Staton on this.
Don't think you would be bothered for going straight across the closed road.
But go down the closed road and you most certainly will get attention. (ticket which has demerit points)
Plus pretty sure every insurance company voids the policy when driving on a closed highway, do "Drive without Insurance" could apply at $5000 min penalty. Very similiar to venturing onto lake in the winter, most insurance voids policy while driving on the ice.

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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Crossing a closed road
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:03 am 
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Location: somewhere in traffic
Just for clarity, As long as do not drive AROUND the "Road Closed" barrier, you should be ok.

"by posting or causing to be posted signs to that effect, or placing or causing to be placed traffic control devices as prescribed in the regulations.

"
It's all about the location of the signage, it works the same as Speed Limit signs, in this case the closure area is limited to an area between the signs. If an officer, or whomever is responsible for the the signs, puts up 2 signs at a 4-way intersection, then I would see that as 1 road being closed. Most of the time when I have seen road closed signs there have been officers present and it was done in a way that closes only a block of road, i.e. you can drive around it.

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http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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Re: Crossing a closed road
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. That's along the lines of what I was thinking. You're technically driving on a closed road when you cross it, but it's not likely to be a problem in the real world.

Just FYI, when Highway 21 is closed, it's usually between Port Elgin or Kincardine as a minimum, which is a 40 km stretch of road, and it's not unusual for it to be closed say from Port Elgin to Amberley or Goderich (a 90 km stretch), sometimes for days at a time. Obviously there aren't barriers at every intersection, usually just at major towns along the way, and normally just for traffic that would be travelling along the highway.


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Re: Crossing a closed road
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Location: Ontario
If in doubt, you could always just put your car in neutral, give it a good push and let it roll across the highway. That way you can honestly say you weren't driving. :D


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