Disobey Stop Sign

Drivers are required to come to a full and complete stop for stop signs at intersections

Disobey Stop Sign Tickets – Highway Traffic Act s.136

Stop Signs: Legalities and Penalties of Stop Sign Tickets in Ontario


Gif image of a Stop SignUnder the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, drivers must come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

This law mandates that the vehicle must come to a complete and full stop at the stop line, before any crosswalk, or at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic.

Disobey Stop Sign: Penalties

Overview of Stop Sign Ticket Penalties

In Ontario, failing to adhere to stop signs is a traffic violation with distinct penalties. These penalties are designed to enforce road safety and discourage negligent driving behaviors. Below, we explore the various consequences that come with a stop sign ticket.

  • Out of Court Fine: The immediate penalty for a stop sign violation is an out-of-court fine. This is a predetermined amount of $110.00. This fine is applicable when the driver chooses to pay the ticket without contesting it in court. If a driver contests the ticket and is subsequently found guilty in court, or if the violation is deemed severe e.g. there was a traffic accident, the justice can escalate the fine up to $500.00. This higher fine reflects the seriousness with which the court views the violation, particularly in cases where it may have endangered public safety.
  • Demerit Points: Alongside the financial penalty, drivers also receive three demerit points on their driving record. Demerit points are a part of Ontario’s strategy to encourage safe driving. Accumulating demerit points can lead to further consequences, including warnings, interviews, and the suspension of the driver’s license.
  • Impact on Driving Abstract: A conviction for disobeying a stop sign remains on the driver’s driving abstract for a duration of three years. The driving abstract is a record of a driver’s history and is often reviewed by insurance companies and employers. A conviction on this record can be seen as an indicator of risky driving behavior.
  • Influence on Insurance Rates: Perhaps one of the most significant impacts of a stop sign ticket is its potential effect on insurance rates. Insurance companies assess risk based on driving records, and a conviction for disobeying a stop sign can lead to an increase in insurance premiums. This increase reflects the insurer’s perceived risk of insuring a driver who has demonstrated unsafe driving habits.

In summary, the penalties for disobeying stop signs in Ontario are multifaceted, affecting drivers both legally and financially.

What is a Proper Stop at a Stop Sign

In Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act sets forth the rules for obeying stop signs but does not explicitly define the duration for which a driver must stop. The commonly accepted interpretation of a stop at a stop sign involves a full and complete cessation of movement, essentially a complete and total halt of the vehicle. This is often described as a ‘full and complete stop’ or coming to a standstill.

Rolling Stops & Enforcement

A significant point of concern arises with ‘rolling stops’. A rolling stop occurs when the vehicle slows down but does not come to a complete stop at the stop sign. In such instances, where there is a failure to make a full stop, a law enforcement officer has the discretion to issue a traffic ticket for disobeying the stop sign.

Officer’s Judgment in Stop Sign Enforcement

The enforcement of stop sign rules heavily relies on the judgment and observations of the police officer. When it comes to determining whether a driver has fully complied with the stop sign requirement, it is the police officer’s opinion and observation that initially dictate the action taken. This interpretation, however, is not absolute and can be challenged.

Legal Proceedings & Officer’s Testimony

In traffic court, the officer’s observations and opinions regarding the stop sign violation can be subject to cross-examination. This allows for the scrutiny of the officer’s interpretation of the stop and provides an opportunity for the driver to contest the allegation of failing to obey a stop sign.

Regulations on Stop Sign Visibility

Additionally, it’s important to note that the regulations governing the visibility and placement of stop signs in Ontario are detailed in Ontario Regulation 615. This regulation ensures that stop signs are placed in a manner that is clearly visible to drivers, which is a crucial aspect of ensuring compliance and road safety.

A stop sign violation, typically determined by a police officer’s judgment, involves failing to make a complete stop. The interpretation of what constitutes a proper stop, particularly in cases of rolling stops, plays a significant role in traffic law enforcement and court proceedings in Ontario.

Insurance Implications

Stop sign tickets can affect insurance rates for drivers.

When a driver receives a ticket for disobeying a stop sign and is subsequently convicted, this can have a direct impact on their car insurance rates. The process begins with the court forwarding a notice of the driver’s conviction to the Ministry of Transportation. Following this, the Ministry records the conviction on the driver’s official driving record.

Process Following a Stop Sign Ticket Conviction

When a driver receives a ticket for disobeying a stop sign and is subsequently convicted, this can have a direct impact on their car insurance rates. The process begins with the court forwarding a notice of the driver’s conviction to the Ministry of Transportation. Following this, the Ministry records the conviction on the driver’s official driving record.

Accessibility of Driving Records

An important aspect to note is that driving abstracts, include a record of such convictions and are accessible to anyone possessing the driver’s license number. Access to these records is granted by the Ministry of Transportation for a fee, making it possible for insurance companies to review a driver’s driving history.

Insurance Companies’ Awareness of Traffic Tickets

Insurance companies typically learn about a stop sign ticket in one of two ways:

  • Proactive Checks by Insurance Companies: Insurance providers may periodically contact the Ministry of Transportation to check a driver’s abstract for any new convictions, including stop sign violations.
  • Disclosure by the Driver: Alternatively, a driver might inform their insurance company about receiving a stop sign ticket.

Varied Responses from Insurance Companies

It’s crucial to understand that each insurance company operates independently and has its own set of policies and standards regarding how traffic tickets affect insurance rates. The response to a stop sign ticket can therefore vary significantly between insurers:

  • No Increase for a Single Ticket: Some insurers may choose not to increase premiums for a first-time stop sign violation.
  • Potential for Rate Increases: Others might increase rates even for a single violation.

Uncertainty and Risk of Inquiry

A notable challenge for drivers is the uncertainty surrounding their insurer’s policy on stop sign tickets. Inquiring directly with the insurance company about the impact of a ticket carries a risk; the inquiry itself could prompt the insurer to review the driver’s record and potentially increase rates based on the new information.


In conclusion, a conviction for disobeying a stop sign can affect insurance rates. The process involves the recording of the conviction on the driver’s abstract, which insurance companies can access. Due to the varied policies of different insurers, the impact on insurance rates can range from negligible to significant, adding an element of unpredictability for drivers.

Legal Definition

Stop at through highway – Highway Traffic Act section 136 (1)

Every driver or street car operator approaching a stop sign at an intersection,

(a) shall stop his or her vehicle or street car at a marked stop line or, if none, then immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk or, if none, then immediately before entering the intersection; and

(b) shall yield the right of way to traffic in the intersection or approaching the intersection on another highway so closely that to proceed would constitute an immediate hazard and, having so yielded the right of way, may proceed.

Acquiring right of way

(2) Every driver or street car operator approaching, on another highway, an intersection referred to in subsection (1), shall yield the right of way to every driver or operator who has complied with the requirements of subsection (1).

Stop signs, erection at intersections

In addition to stop signs required at intersections on through highways,

(a) the council of a municipality may by by-law provide for the erection of stop signs at intersections on highways under its jurisdiction; and

(b) the Minister may by regulation designate intersections on the King’s Highway at which stop signs shall be erected,

and every sign so erected shall comply with the regulations of the Ministry.

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