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Road closure and emergency detour signs, what motorists should do when they come across them


When a large sign reads ‘ROAD CLOSED,’ it seems not every driver knows what that means and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say, road and lane closed signs are often ignored.

“Shockingly, far more often than you might imagine,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt with OPP. “We’ve had officers jump and dive for cover as vehicles have approached them in a closure.”

A prime example of this was in 2018 when a firefighter could be seen on video jumping over a guard rail to avoid being struck by an incoming car.

Whether the entire road is closed or just a lane, officials are begging drivers to pay attention, slow down and move over or turn around.

"It’s actually more terrifying than frustrating. We’ve had officers jump and dive for cover as vehicles have approached them in a closure,” said Sgt. Schmidt.

Drivers who enter a closed-off area are not only putting lives at risk, but they can also damage the integrity of a crime scene.

“It can contaminate the evidence that we are working on. It can damage the equipment,” Schmidt added.

From a lawyer’s perspective, it could be difficult for a driver who was caught ignoring a road closed sign to fight the charge in court.

“When a driver has sort of blatantly violated a signage that’s on the road, whether it’s a closed lane or a closed road entirely, those typically are cases where that driver will be found at fault,” said Rajiv Haté, a personal injury lawyer with Kotak Law.

In Ontario, ignoring the signage carries a fine of $110 plus three demerit points.

In terms of insurance, if a driver is caught going through a road closed sign without causing any injury or damage, it could be considered a minor conviction, but every situation is different.

“If they were stunting at that time of if there were other things that play into that, it can of course be more severe including failing to obey police, for example, which could be major or even criminal in some cases,” said Daniel Ivans, an insurance expert with

So everyone is able to get home safely, police are urging driver to know and follow the rules when they find a closed road.

Editor's note: This story is important to our CTV team, as we continue to keep our friend and colleague Stephanie Villella in our thoughts. Villella was struck and injured while reporting on a collision from a barricaded and closed road. This story is being reported on in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of heeding these warnings, to protect all those who travel and work on our roadways. Top Stories

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