Is It Against the Law to Tow a Trailer With a Person Onboard?
Towing a House Trailer or Boat Trailer, Among Others, With a Person Inside Is Contrary to Section 188 of the Highway Traffic Act and Is Subject to Penalties Including a Fine Ranging From $60 to $1,000 Plus Victim Surcharge and Court Cost As Well As Possible Consequences to Insurance Rates.
Understanding the Highway Traffic Act Offence For Towing a Trailer With a Person Aboard Including Applicable Penalties
As doing so creates a significant risk of danger for serious injury or death in the event of an accident, the law forbids the towing of a house trailer, camping trailer, boat trailer, among others, while a person is aboard. Accordingly, all persons traveling must be onboard the towing vehicle rather than aboard the towed trailer.
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.
Accordingly, per the general penalty stated within section 214(1), the fine for towing a house trailer or boat trailer with a person onboard is in a range from sixty ($60) dollars to one thousand ($1,000) dollars. Additional penalties will include the statutory victim surcharge plus court cost. Furthermore, a conviction may also have serious consequences to insurance rates.
Towing a house trailer or boat trailer, among other types of trailers, poses a risk of serious injury or death to any person or persons aboard the trailer if an accident occurs; and accordingly, doing so is unlawful and subject to a potential fine of one thousand ($1,000) dollars plus victim surcharge, court cost, and insurance rate consequences.