What Is the Law About Towing a Trailer With a Person Onboard?
Driving While Towing a House Trailer or Boat Trailer, Among Other Types, While a Person Is Inside Violates Section 188 of the Highway Traffic Act. Upon Conviction a Driver Is Subject to Penalties That Include a Fine In a Range From $60 to $1,000 Plus a Statutory Victim Surcharge and Court Cost As Well As Potential Insurance Rate Consequences.
Understanding the Highway Traffic Act Offence For Towing a Trailer With a Person Aboard Including Applicable Penalties
Whereas towing a house trailer or a boat trailer, among others, with a person onboard poses a risk of serious injury or death if an accident were to occur, doing so is unlawful; and thus, a driver must ensure that all persons traveling are within the vehicle that is towing the trailer rather than within the trailer that is being towed.
The law forbidding a driver from towing a house trailer or boat trailer with a person onboard is found at section 188 of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 and the applicable penalty upon conviction for a violation is found at section 214(1) of the Highway Traffic Act as section 188 is silent about, meaning failing to state, the penalty details. Specifically, section 188 and section 214(1) of the Highway Traffic Act state:
Riding in house or boat trailers prohibited
188 No driver of a motor vehicle to which a house trailer or boat trailer is attached shall operate the motor vehicle on a highway if the trailer is occupied by any person.
214 (1) Every person who contravenes this Act or any regulation is guilty of an offence and on conviction, where a penalty for the contravention is not otherwise provided for herein, is liable to a fine of not less than $60 and not more than $1,000.
As is described via the relevant sections referenced above, the general penalty mandated per section 214(1) of the Highway Traffic Act prescribes a fine that ranges from sixty ($60) dollars to one thousand ($1,000) dollars upon conviction for the towing of a house trailer or of a boat trailer with a person inside. Additionally, also upon conviction, the statutory victim surcharge as well as court cost will apply. Furthermore, a conviction may result in insurance rate increases.
When a driver operates a motor vehicle that is towing a house trailer or boat trailer with a person inside, doing so creates a great risk of serious harm to the person inside the trailer, especially in an accident occurrence. Accordingly, drivers are legally forbidden from doing so and upon a conviction for a violation a fine of up to one thousand ($1,000) dollars, among other penalties, applies.