What to do when Pulled Over by the Police
There are many expectations drivers should be aware of, as well as actions that need to be followed if pulled over or issued a ticket.
- Toronto Police Service
- What to do when Pulled Over by the Police
Police Officers can stop vehicles for many different reasons, such as
A Highway Traffic Act violation/inquiry (example: Speeding)
- Sobriety Spot Check
- Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act inquiry
- Criminal Code of Canada-related offence (example: Assault)
What to Expect from the Police Officer?
- The officer will advise you that you are being recorded by audio and visual recording devices (Toronto officers often have dashboard-mounted cameras on their marked scout cars and microphones with them as well as Body-Worn Cameras)
- The officer will identify themselves to you, and the officer may make a demand for the documentation of the driver, vehicle and proof of insurance.
The Officer may also ask questions or check the vehicle in relation to:
- The sobriety of the driver
- the Mechanical fitness of the vehicle
- Compliance with existing regulations (such as commercial vehicle operation regulations)
- a Criminal investigation
What should a Driver do if pulled over?
If you must exit your vehicle or reach in to some other part of the vehicle to obtain any documents or personal belongings, please wait until the officer arrives at the side of the vehicle and inform the officer of your intention.
Communication is the key to everyone's safety.
What should a Passenger do if pulled over?
- Remain in the vehicle
- If it is necessary for you to exit the vehicle, please inform the officer of your intentions
- A passenger under the age of 16 is the responsibility of the driver and any violations such as improper use of, or not wearing a seatbelt are the drivers’ responsibility
- Any demerit points associated with the passenger related seatbelt offence will be accumulated by the driver and not the passenger (passenger under 16 years of age)
- A police officer may request that a passenger in a motor vehicle who appears to be at least 16 years old identify himself or herself if the officer has reason to believe that the passenger is or has contravened section 106(3) of the Highway Traffic Act
What should a Driver keep in mind if they are stopped?
Drivers are required to carry/maintain certain documents in the vehicle, when applicable:
- Driver’s licence, Insurance card, and Ownership for the vehicle (a photocopy of front and rear of the ownership is acceptable, please store within cabin of vehicle)
- Commercial vehicle operator - Commercial Vehicle Operators Registry (CVOR) certificate, daily trip logs and inspections
- If you are stopped for a speeding-related offence, there is no requirement by law for the officer to show you the read-out on the speed-measuring device they have used
- The officer will be recording your interaction by remote audio and visual recording devices, will verbally notify you
- You may ask the officer why you have been stopped
What should a Driver do if issued a ticket?
If you are issued a ticket, it will be in two parts.
- The first page will be the notice of the offence, and the second page will include the options you have to respond to the ticket that was issued
- You must respond to the ticket in 15 days, or the ticket will be deemed not disputed and you will be convicted
- If you are convicted and the fine for the ticket has not been paid in 30 days, the Ministry of Transportation for Ontario will be notified of the outstanding fine
- If the fine remains unpaid for 90 days, your licence will be suspended for non-payment of fines
- the officers name and badge number will always be on the ticket
What should a Driver do if issued a warning?
- If you are issued a warning, the word warning will be clearly visible on the top of the printout and will include how many demerit points and what the monetary penalty amount would have been
- There is nothing that you need to do once you are served a warning, but keep in mind the warning will be kept on file. If you commit the same offence again, the next officer will see it and may issue an offence for a subsequent or similar offence
- the officer’s name and badge number will always be on the warning