This morning, a Toronto Traffic Enforcement Officer gave Ontario drivers a timely reminder that they can actually get fined for having too much snow on their car. The infraction, according to Officer Papadopoulos, is classified as an "insecure load". One Toronto driver was the recipient of that fine this morning for having what looked like a foot of snow on the roof of their car.
Officer Papadopoulos snapped a photo of the car with the caption, "This could have been bad. The vehicle was stopped for insecure load. Please clean off your vehicles before driving off. Please continue to drive under the maximum and watch your distance between vehicles."
According to the Ontario Court of Justice, the fine for an insecure load is $130. For commercial motor vehicles, the fine is $310. The offence and amount vary by province. In Winnipeg, "unsecured load" fines are upwards of $237.
The reason, according to the Globe and Mail, is that it has the potential to be a safety hazard. Once the car picks up speed, snow may start flying and put other drivers at risk. If another car gets into an accident because of it, not only could you be at fault, but your record and insurance will suffer.
This could have been bad. The vehicle was stopped for insecure load. Please clean off your vehicles before driving off. Please continue to drive under the maximum and watch your distance between vehicles. #pappystips #WinterStorm #charged #RoadSafety #WinterSafety pic.twitter.com/PoVpKfaeGl— PCPapadopoulos (@PCPappy) January 30, 2019
Can't make this stuff up. Driver charged today in Brussels actually driving like this.— OPP West (@OPP_WR) January 19, 2016
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Toronto Const. Clint Stibbe says that "if a large amount of snow/ice were to come off a vehicle and cause a collision, the investigator would have to determine the involvement of the vehicle in the collision. The driver with the snow or ice coming off of the car could be found at fault."
In Ontario, drivers can also get fined for having an obstructed view through their front, side and back windows. According to the Highway Traffic Act, the fine is $85, plus a $25 surcharge. You can also get an $85 fine plus a surcharge if there's snow or frost covering your license plate.
Also, one important detail. Cleaning the snow from your car once you're already on the highway can also get you in trouble, as one Ontario woman proved to the world last week.