Skip to main content
driving concerns

It is legal for the driver to text while in a Tim Hortons drive-thru in Ontario and in Quebec it is illegal to be in the left lane on a highway if you aren’t passing or turning left.

Canada has 13 different sets of driving laws. That’s bound to make for some strange and unexpected rules. Here are six that readers asked about in 2022 that surprised us:

Is it legal to cross a solid double line to pass a car?

In every province except Ontario, crossing the solid double line to pass is, well, crossing the line.

Ontario’s the only province where there’s no law against crossing the solid double line to enter the oncoming lane.

“The offence of crossing the yellow line doesn’t exist [in Ontario],” Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Kerry Schmidt said. “If there’s a sign [banning crossing the line] and you do, then you’d be charged with disobeying the sign.”

Isn’t the left lane on the highway only for passing?

Quebec is the only province that specifically says you can’t be in the left lane on highways unless you’re turning left or passing – even if you’re the only vehicle on the highway.

In British Columbia, the law says to get out of the left lane if there’s someone in the same lane who wants to pass. In most other provinces, the laws tend to say traffic going below the speed limit should keep right.

Still, safety experts say it is usually a good idea to stay in the right lane unless passing.

Is it legal for a driver to speed up when I’m trying to pass them?

Everywhere in Canada, it’s against the law to speed up if a car is trying to pass you.

“Speeding up when you’re being passed is illegal,” said Martin Wiseman, chief instructor with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA). “But the law is also very clear that it’s also illegal to go over the speed limit in order to pass someone.”

Do I have to come to a complete stop when turning right at a green light?

While there’s no law saying you have to come to a complete stop when turning right on a green, stopping is a good idea, police said.

“Prior to making any right, we see a lot of people rolling through, and it’s dangerous,” said RCMP Corporal Mike Halskov, a spokesman for B.C. Highway Patrol. “There could be pedestrians entering the intersection you haven’t seen, there could be a cyclist or your view may be blocked.”

Is it illegal for a driver to text in a Tim Hortons drive-through?

“At Timmies, want a double double?”

Sending that text while driving in a drive-through is illegal in every province except Ontario, where the provincial rules of the road don’t apply on private property.

Still, it is safer to text when you’re properly parked, Ontario Provincial Police said.

Can I reserve street parking in front of my house?

When you’ve spent a half-hour shovelling snow out of the street parking spot in front of your house, you probably don’t want anyone else to park there.

But, in most Canadian cities, there’s no way to ban someone from parking in that spot.

“On-street spaces are not allocated to specific addresses, but rather on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Ashika Theyyil, communications adviser with the City of Toronto. “The person may call [Toronto police parking enforcement], but if your vehicle is parked legally, no action will be taken.”

Have a driving question? Send it to and put ‘Driving Concerns’ in your subject line. Emails without the correct subject line may not be answered. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.