Fail to Stop for Emergency Vehicle

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Highway Traffic Act section 159

Fail to Stop for Emergency VehicleWhere an emergency vehicle is approaching with its lights or siren, or emergency system activated drivers shall immediately bring their vehicles to a stand still (stop):

  • as near as possible to the right hand side of the roadway, and
  • clear of any intersection

Drivers must wait until the emergency vehicle has passed before proceeding.


Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles include:

  • police
  • ambulances
  • fire department vehicles
  • public utility emergency vehicles

Related Charges: fail to stop for police, fail to slow for stopped emergency vehicle


Insurance Implications

A conviction on the drivers abstract for Failing to Stop for an Emergency Vehicle can affect insurance rates.

Some insurance companies may consider this a major violation and dramatically increase insurance rates.

Once the driver is convicted of a traffic ticket, the court sends a notice to the Ministry of Transportation.

Upon receiving the record of conviction, the Ministry of Transportation adds the court conviction to the driving record.


Driving Records/Abstracts

Driving abstracts are available to anyone who has the drivers licence number for a fee payable to the Ministry of Transportation.

Therefore the way the insurance company will finds out about the ticket is;

Each insurance company is a private company with their own set of rules and standards.

Some insurance companies will not increase insurance rates for one ticket and others will. The problem is drivers don’t know what the insurance company is going to do, and if asked, there is a chance they will increase it due to the inquiry.

Drivers need to keep their driving records clear.


Fines

The out of court fine for Fail to Stop for Emergency Vehicle is $490.00.


Summons to Appear in Court

Where a police officer issues a summons to appear or the driver disputes the ticket, the Justice of the Peace (JP) can increase the fine up to $2000.00.


Subsequent Offences

Where the court finds that the driver has a previous conviction for Fail to Stop for Emergency Vehicle the judge can increase the fine to:

  • minimum fine $1,000
    • maximum fine $4,000
  • jail up to 6 months
    • or both
  • licence suspension up to 2 years

What is the Victim Fine Surcharge?

  • The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) to every non-parking fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act.
    • It is deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime.
  • The amount of the VFS is usually 20 per cent of the imposed fine.
    • For example, a $100 fine would result in a $20 surcharge.
    • Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25 per cent, $250.00

Penalties

A conviction for Fail to Stop for Emergency Vehicle has the following penalties:

  • out of court fine of $110.00
    • maximum fine of $500.00
  • conviction appears on driving abstract for 3 years
  • can affect insurance rates
  • 3 demerit points

Demerit Points

Driving in a high occupancy lane tickets have 3 demerit points.


Demerit Point Interviews

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any Service Ontario Centre.

You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview.

Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.


Suspensions

First offences for Fail to Stop for Emergency Vehicle do not have a licence suspension.

Where the driver has a previous conviction for Fail to Stop for Emergency Vehicle, a judge may order the suspension of their licence for up to 2 years.


Novice Drivers

There is no suspension for Novice drivers.

Class G1 and Class G2 drivers are suspended for 30 days for violating the demerit point restrictions for novice drivers


Unpaid Fines

Any driver maybe suspended where any fine goes into default.  Where the licence is suspended for an unpaid fine, the licence will be suspended until the payment is made to the court.


Demerit Point Suspensions

The accumulation of demerit points can result in a licence suspension.


Legal Definition

Approaching, following emergency vehicles

Stop on approach of vehicle with flashing lights or bell or siren sounding

159 (1) The driver of a vehicle, upon the approach of a police department vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or public utility emergency vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a standstill,

(a) as near as is practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection; or

(b) when on a roadway having more than two lanes for traffic and designated for the use of one-way traffic, as near as is practicable to the nearest curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection.

Definition

In this section,

“emergency vehicle” means,

(a) an ambulance, fire department vehicle, police department vehicle or public utility emergency vehicle,

(b) a ministry vehicle operated by an officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act or the Public Vehicles Act, while the officer is in the course of his or her employment,

(c) a vehicle while operated by a conservation officer, fishery officer, provincial park officer or mine rescue training officer, while the officer is in the course of his or her employment,

(d) a vehicle while operated by a provincial officer designated under the Environmental Protection Act, the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Pesticides Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 or the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, while the officer is in the course of his or her employment, or

Case Law

Here is no applicable case law for this charge as of the date of writing.

Please review the CanLi site for any updates.