Is It Possible to Get Charged For Driving Slow?

Driving Too Fast Is Well Known As Unlawful. Driving Too Slowly Is Also Unlawful As Doing So May Unnecessarily Impede Traffic Flow and Cause Dangerous Hazards.

Understanding the Charge of Driving Too Slowly Including the Applicable Penalties

Driving Slowly on Roadway It seems counterintuitive that driving too slowly may be unlawful, especially whereas stories of tragic accidents much more commonly involve incidents caused by excessive speed; however, similar to driving at an excessive rate of speed, driving unnecessarily slowly can also be dangerous. Accordingly, while defensive driving is always encouraged, driving unnecessarily slowly, and thereby becoming an unexpected obstacle to other traffic, or possibly frustrating other drivers so significantly as to cause others to act erratically, can pose significant danger.

The Law

Driving too slowly may be an offence contrary to the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 which states:


132 (1) No motor vehicle shall be driven on a highway at such a slow rate of speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic thereon except when the slow rate of speed is necessary for safe operation having regard to all the circumstances.

Interestingly, violation of section 132 of the Highway Traffic Act was recently referenced as an unlawful means within the civil law case of Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association v. Boak, 2022 ONSC 1001, involving the tort of intentional inference in economic relations as arising from rolling roadblocks or blockades.

Summary Comment

Similar to driving too fast, driving too slowly can also pose risks to others using the roadway whereas when traffic moving at a normal speed comes upon a vehicle travelling unexpectedly slow and dangerous situation exists.  While a charge of driving too slowly is likely uncommon, the law provides for the possibility of such a charge.

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