Can a Driver Be Charged For Driving Too Slow?

Driving Too Slowly Can Create a Dangerous Hazard to Others Traveling at Normal Speed; Accordingly, Driving Too Slow May Result In a Traffic Ticket.

Understanding the Charge of Driving Too Slowly Including the Applicable Penalties

Driving Slowly on Roadway It may be quite surprising; however, it is true that driving too slowly may be unlawful. Additionally, driving too slowly can present as a dangerous safety hazard and indeed there are examples of where an unexpected and unusually slow vehicle caused a tragic accident. Driving too slowly can be similarly as dangerous as driving at excessive speed. Of course, safe and cautious driving is always strongly encouraged; however, unnecessarily slow driving, and becoming an obstacle to other traffic, or possibly frustrating other drivers so severely as to trigger erratic conduct, can pose significant danger.

The Law

Driving too slowly may be an offence contrary to the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 which states:


132 (1) No motor vehicle shall be driven on a highway at such a slow rate of speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic thereon except when the slow rate of speed is necessary for safe operation having regard to all the circumstances.

Interestingly, violation of section 132 of the Highway Traffic Act was recently referenced as an unlawful means within the civil law case of Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association v. Boak, 2022 ONSC 1001, involving the tort of intentional inference in economic relations as arising from rolling roadblocks or blockades.

Summary Comment

Similar to driving too fast, driving too slowly can also pose risks to others using the roadway whereas when traffic moving at a normal speed comes upon a vehicle travelling unexpectedly slow and dangerous situation exists.  While a charge of driving too slowly is likely uncommon, the law provides for the possibility of such a charge.

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