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Traffic Rules and Regulations - Rules of the Road


All road users, whether motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians, must obey the rules of the road. These rules are defined in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) and Regional and local traffic by-laws.

Highway Traffic Act

The HTA is the governing legislation, enacted by the Provincial Government, to oversee the operation of the Province's roads. The legislation defines who can operate a vehicle, what is a vehicle, the statutory speed limit, and many other rules which, if broken, may result in charges under the HTA. For the latest edition of the Act, please visit If you have ever been charged with a moving violation, the police officer will cite the Highway Traffic Act. The Act provides clear direction by which motorists and pedestrians are to behave on a public roadway. In the Region of Durham, police services are provided by either the Durham Regional Police Service or the Ontario Provincial Police.

Regional Traffic By-Laws

Regional traffic by-laws are legal descriptions, endorsed by Durham Regional Council, that regulate traffic on Regional roads. By-laws are used to regulate parking and stopping, speed limits, turn prohibitions, roads under seasonal weight restrictions, and various other rules of the road.

Local Traffic By-Laws

Local traffic by-laws are also legal descriptions of infractions within the road allowance under the jurisdiction of the local municipality. Both Regional and local traffic by-laws are enforced by the Durham Regional Police Service or the local area municipal by-law office.


Before you can obtain a driver's licence, you must pass a graduated licensing program, which includes a written test. For more information, please visit the Ministry of Transportation's website.