What is the Highway Traffic Act?

Male HRPS officer conducts speed enforcement

The Highway Traffic Act is provincial legislation that, amongst other things, regulates the classification of traffic offences. It applies to “highways,” which include a common or public highway, street, driveway, bridge, viaduct etc., any part of which is intended for use by the general public for the passage of vehicles.

Traffic safety is one of the Halton Regional Police Service's key priorities, and our officers are committed to conducting proactive traffic enforcement.

Authorization to Stop a Vehicle

An officer is authorized to pull over a vehicle to:

  • Determine if the driver has documents pertaining to operating the vehicle. This includes a driver's license, vehicle permit, and valid insurance card.
  • Determine if any offence has been committed either provincially or criminally, to determine road worthiness of a vehicle, or driver sobriety.

Charges under the Highway Traffic Act

There are two ways in which an officer can lay a charge under the Highway Traffic Act:

  • Provincial Offence Notice (PON), also known as a traffic ticket. A PON is given when there is a fine specified for an offence.
  • Summons to Defendant (directs a person to appear in court). A summons is issued when there is no fine set. This is due to the seriousness of the offence or possibly when a person has previous convictions for the same offence. If convicted, the fine would be determined by the Justice of the Peace.

Learn more about the Highway Traffic Act

To learn more about the Highway Traffic Act and other laws in Ontario, visit Ontario's e-Laws website.