Is It Possible to Get Charged For Driving Too 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

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.

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

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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