"Road Closed" signs mean just that - stop driving around them

December 28, 2023, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

It's a trend we are seeing more and more of and it's dangerous. Driving on closed roads and disregarding road closure signs can lead to significant consequences in Ontario. While the temptation to bypass these warnings might arise, it's crucial to understand why adhering to these closures is essential for both safety and legal reasons.

Safety First

Safety stands as the paramount reason to respect road closures. These closures are put in place to safeguard individuals from potential hazards such as construction, flooding, accidents, or weather-related issues. Ignoring these warnings can put you and others at risk. Roads might be closed due to unstable surfaces, high water levels, fallen trees, or other dangers that might not be immediately visible. Disregarding these closures can lead to accidents, vehicle damage, or even personal injuries.

Legal Implications

Beyond safety concerns, driving on closed roads violates traffic laws and municipal bylaws. In Ontario, disobeying road closure signs constitutes a traffic offense, potentially resulting in fines or penalties. Police officers or law enforcement personnel frequently monitor these closed areas, and violating these closures can lead to legal repercussions. Additionally, should an accident occur while driving on a closed road, insurance coverage might be compromised, leaving individuals liable for damages.

Preservation of Infrastructure

Driving on closed roads can exacerbate existing issues. For instance, roads might be closed due to ongoing repairs or construction. Disregarding these closures can damage newly laid surfaces or impede progress, prolonging the inconvenience for everyone. By respecting road closures, individuals contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the infrastructure, ensuring smoother, safer roads in the future.

Environmental Impact

Closed roads might also be in place to protect the environment. In Ontario, natural habitats, conservation areas, or ecologically sensitive regions might have roads closed to prevent disturbance to flora and fauna. Ignoring these closures can harm wildlife, damage delicate ecosystems, or contribute to pollution. Respecting these closures is crucial to preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of the region.

Emergency Services Access

Road closures can be essential for emergency situations. First responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, or police, rely on clear access to affected areas during emergencies. Disobeying closures can impede their ability to reach those in need promptly. By respecting road closures, individuals contribute to the efficient and timely response of emergency services, potentially saving lives in critical situations.

Community Consideration

Ignoring road closures can disrupt communities. Closed roads might divert traffic through residential areas, causing inconvenience and safety concerns for local residents. By adhering to closures, individuals show respect for the community and its safety.

Alternative Routes and Patience

When faced with a closed road, it's crucial to seek alternative routes recommended by local authorities. Although these detours might add extra time to your journey, they ensure safety and compliance with the law. Practicing patience and understanding during these situations benefits everyone involved.

Car Insurance Implications

When it comes to insurance coverage in the event of a car accident on a closed road, the situation can be quite complex. Typically, insurance policies require compliance with traffic laws and regulations. Driving on a closed road violates these laws, potentially affecting your insurance coverage. Insurers might argue that the accident occurred due to negligence or disregard for road closures, which could lead to denial of coverage or increased premiums.

In some cases, insurance companies might cover the damages depending on the circumstances, but it's essential to remember that violating road closures can significantly impact your insurance claim and financial liability. It's advisable to consult with legal or insurance professionals for guidance specific to your situation.

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us at 1-519-742-7774.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

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