Can a Driver Be Charged For Driving Too Slow?

Driving Too Slowly Can Create a Dangerous Hazard to Others Traveling at Normal Speed; Accordingly, Driving Too Slow May Result In a Traffic Ticket.

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

A driver who is driving too slowly may be charged with violating section 132 of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 whereas such 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.

In an Interesting civil law case, section 132 of the Highway Traffic Act was referenced as, among other things, an unlawful means element within Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association v. Boak, 2022 ONSC 1001, alleging tortious inference in economic relations relating to rolling roadblocks or blockades upon the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.

Summary Comment

Like driving too fast, a driver who is driving too slowly also poses serious risks to other drivers whereas traffic that is moving at a normal and anticipated speed may be surprised by an unexpectedly slow moving vehicle resulting in the need for sudden braking or sudden swerving and thereby posing as a highly dangerous situation.  Although driving too fast is much more common, the concern for driving too slow also exists.

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