Someone I know was riding in Toronto and the Police pulled him over because he took "[his] hands off the handlebars" and put them in front of him AT A REDLIGHT. He was not issued a ticket but was given a hard time. I couldn't find anything on this in the HTA. Do you think that the officers were just looking for bust of some sort or was it a legit reason to stop him?
Anything will help!
The closest thing in the Highway Traffic Act that deals with hand position would be the distracting driving law (eg: just the act of holding a cell phone). It doesn't apply here, but it's the closest thing. Now if I replace the cell phone with a sandwich, it's no longer distracted driving because it's not an electronic device.
Depending on the right circumstances, (eg: vehicle is moving, eating a sandwich, emergency arises, unable to perform quick maneuver, and then an accident) there's a good chance you'll be charged with careless driving. Holding a sandwich instead of the wheel would be considered careless. So would not holding the wheel at all, but it's probably easier for me to use an everyday example. If the circumstances end up being more serious (accident involving death), you can probably be charged criminally.
Now if you're at a red light, i'm not sure how likely you are to be charged with anything. Since careless driving is a blanket charge and one not directly covering the idea of hand positioning, you'd have to prove the act of carelessness. Maybe i've missed something and someone else could chime in.
There is always two sides to a story. I see this all of the time and wouldn't think anything of it. I'm guessing there was something else going on then just "putting his hands in front of him". What was discussed during the "talking to" would probably answer that question. The act of just putting your hands in front of you at a stop light is no different then taking your hands off a steering wheel at a red light which we all do.
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