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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Definition of 'highway'
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 pm 
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From the HTA, I always thought 'highway' could be interpreted to include mall parking lots, because they are "intended for or used by the general public". But after spending the last few days reading the majority of posts on this site, you all seem to agree that the HTA definition of 'highway' only applies to public areas between private property lines.

If, for example, someone was caught doing a burnout on the main roadway inside a mall parking lot, could a charge be laid under the HTA? It would be private property, but it is intended for use by the general public.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:46 pm 
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The OHTA does not apply to private property, such as mall parking lots. However, the criminal code does apply; dangerous driving and so do noise by-laws.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:05 pm 
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Is there some other act that limits the scope of the HTA? I can't find anything in the HTA itself that limits it to public property.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:42 pm 
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The definition has come to mean is the area property line to property line, as far as defining a highway. Most of the HTA offences, such as section 128 (speeding), section 130 (careless driving) and section 172 :roll: specify in their definitions that the offence (in so many words) is only applicable if it occurs on a highway. Private property is not a highway. Some parts of the HTA, like the requirement to report/remain at a collision, apply everywhere.

As Reflections said, they could get you for some other offence in the parking lot, just not HTA... unless you hit something.


Last edited by Radar Identified on Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Case law.......http://www.canlii.org/

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:51 pm 
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So it's more or less based on case law? Which is perfectly fine; I just read the definition of 'highway' in the HTA to be worded to include private property meant for public access. So it would include mall parking lots, apartment visitor lots, TTC passenger drop-offs, etc., but exclude your house driveway and other controlled access areas like TTC parking lots.

Quote:
“highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; (“voie publique”)


To me, the word 'public' there means 'public access' instead of 'public property'. I guess the courts feel differently. 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Where in there does it say parking lot??? A place intended to leave your vehicle. Have you ever seen a speed trap at Walmart?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:04 pm 
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It is used by the general public for the passage of vehicles. Not the spaces themselves, but the roadways that are adjacent to the spaces. How often do people exceed 50 km/h in front of Wal-Mart?

Moot point anyways, as the courts don't recognise my interpretation according to case law. I was just interested on where the HTA was enforceable.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Quote:
“highway” includes a common and public, highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; ("voie publique")


Where I bolded, because commas are only used to separate the items on the list, meaning roughly that:

"highway” includes a common and public driveable surface, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; ("voie publique")

Public is the key otherwise. If it's not on public property, then it does not apply, unless it is classified as a toll highway (which can be private property). Mall parking lots are surely not toll highways (would you pay to park at a mall?)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:34 am 
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racer wrote:
Quote:
“highway” includes a common and public, highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; ("voie publique")


Where I bolded, because commas are only used to separate the items on the list, meaning roughly that:

"highway” includes a common and public driveable surface, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; ("voie publique")

Public is the key otherwise. If it's not on public property, then it does not apply, unless it is classified as a toll highway (which can be private property). Mall parking lots are surely not toll highways (would you pay to park at a mall?)


I pay every time I go to Eaton Centre. :D

I think I'm starting to understand. So if someone was to 'stunt' in a Home Depot parking lot, section 172 couldn't be applied? I guess it would end up being a trespassing charge then.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:33 am 
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Trespassing, disturbing the peace, Dangerous driving (same as S172 as far as insurance goes), Careless driving.....

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:08 pm 
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I heard Julian Fantino is gonna have OPP officers and planes to patrol parking lots for aggressive driving.

Rumour is a 7 day license suspension and toe on the spot. Mandatory court date.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Well, the good thing is that there is a mandatory court date, because there you can sue the Crown for theft right on the spot!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:03 pm 
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racer wrote:
Well, the good thing is that there is a mandatory court date, because there you can sue the Crown for theft right on the spot!

X2

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:04 pm 
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Highway is anything between fence line to fence line. Under the act it states, "any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles"

This refers to those rest stops off the highway, not Walmart parking lots. Passage of vehicles, one way in (off highway) and one way out (onto highway).

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