Is It Legal to Use a Sleigh Upon a Roadway?

Almost Humourous Is the Traffic Ticket For Violating Section 77 of the Highway Traffic Act Which Brings a Maximum Five ($5) Dollar Fine For Travelling By Horse Drawn Sleigh Without At Least Two Bells Providing a Warning to Other Users of the Road.

Understanding the Two Bell Requirement When Travelling By Sleigh Drawn By Horse, Reindeer, or Other Animal, Upon a Road

Likely a very rare charge, and quite likely only a holiday season possibility, is the offence for travelling by a sleigh that is drawn upon a highway by a horse, or other animal, without at least two bells connected to the harness or to the sleigh in a manner that emits ample sound.  Interestingly, this charge likely also involves the smallest fine of any possible traffic ticket charge.

The Law

The Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 at section 77 prescribes the requirement that a sleigh being drawn upon a highway, as highway is defined within the Highway Traffic Act, must be equipped with two warning bells.  Specifically, the Highway Traffic Act states:


77 (1) Every person travelling on a highway with a sleigh or sled drawn by a horse or other animal shall have at least two bells attached to the harness or to the sleigh or sled in such a manner as to give ample warning sound.


(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5.


As shown above, per section 77(2) of the Highway Traffic Act, the maximum fine for travelling upon a highway without at least two bells emitting an ample warning sound is five ($5) dollars; and accordingly, upon conviction for such a violation, the offender may be subjected to the least costly traffic ticket fine possible.  Surprisingly, whereas a conviction will be noted upon the driving record of the offender, the offence will therefore become information available to insurers and thereby have a possible effect upon automobile insurance rating whereas such may be considered as a minor traffic violation.

Summary Comment

The Highway Traffic Act violation with the smallest possible fine likely arises upon conviction for the naughty, rather than nice, conduct of failing to properly have at least two (2) bells providing a warning while a sleigh is being pulled by horse, or other animal, upon a highway.

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