Automotive

Is changing a flat tire on a highway illegal?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 23rd, 2020 6:12 pm
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Deal Guru
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May 9, 2006
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Is changing a flat tire on a highway illegal?

So today, I got a flat on the 403. It was in the back right tire. I pulled over to the right shoulder and changed the flat. A tow truck pulled up as I was putting on the spare. He was nice enough the stay behind my car as I finished changing my tire. While I finished up, he told me that as of 2020, it is now illegal to change a flat tire on a highway in Ontario and I could get fined.

Is this true? I can't find anything on the subject and tow truck drivers aren't exactly known for being honest.
38 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2005
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Never heard of such a thing .
Suspended on May 21,2020 for 90 days by Mars2012 . Still serving sentence .
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
joeyjoejoe wrote: So today, I got a flat on the 403. It was in the back right tire. I pulled over to the right shoulder and changed the flat. A tow truck pulled up as I was putting on the spare. He was nice enough the stay behind my car as I finished changing my tire. While I finished up, he told me that as of 2020, it is now illegal to change a flat tire on a highway in Ontario and I could get fined.

Is this true? I can't find anything on the subject and tow truck drivers aren't exactly known for being honest.
If you're on the shoulder it's fine. Just be careful, it's dangerous with distracted drivers. Good for you for having proper life skills.
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Aug 7, 2007
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GTA
Not illegal but quite dangerous. I know how to change a tire but I’d rather call road side assistance to pull up and change it or tow the car to the closest exit and do it myself.
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Jan 8, 2009
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Ontario
ADRiiAN` wrote: Not illegal but quite dangerous. I know how to change a tire but I’d rather call road side assistance to pull up and change it or tow the car to the closest exit and do it myself.
Yes. if you get a flat tire its best to stay away from the vehicle/highway and get a road side service to fix it but be prepared to pay an inflated price.
"Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, and the pig likes it"
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Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
Best to get off the highway and into a parking lot if possible.
Happened to a co-worker and the vultures were conveniently driving by, but accepted $50 to tow him 5min to a parking lot.
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Jun 2, 2012
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GTA
I can pull apart an engine... but I would never change a tire on a 400 series highway
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario
They lie through their teeth to try to get you to hook up with them. Unless its a police officer telling you to do something, just say no thanks.

When I was on the shoulder waiting for a CAA I had a tow truck driver come up and tell me that the RCMP called him and told him to get my (specific) car off the shoulder because it wasn't safe. I said no thanks and he argued with me until I said so call the cops, then he left.

That said I'm not sure I would risk changing the tire myself on a 400 series highway given how bad people drive.
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
On some highways in QC, but no references for ON.

Some spots of the 403 have really tight shoulders due to the bus lane
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
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Toronto, ON
I would rather ruin my car driving slowly to the next exit than change the tire on a shoulder. 403 has frequent exits too. I cannot think of anything more dangerous than just hanging out on the side of a highway.

It isn't illegal though AFAIK. Cannot find any law saying such.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Vancouver
canoek wrote: It isn't illegal though AFAIK. Cannot find any law saying such.
I'm sure it's possible to interpret the law in such a way that walking the six steps from the driver's side door to the trunk to retrieve the spare makes you a pedestrian on the freeway, which is indeed illegal. But I digress.
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May 8, 2002
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LEO here. Definitely not illegal to change tire on side of highway, but EXTREMELY dangerous. Couple years ago young female in Cambridge had both legs amputated after attempting to change her tire on the 401...

Even if you cause damage to the rim, it is better to drive off the highway and find a safe spot. It's even dangerous to stop on the 4xx series, let alone get out of your vehicle.

But don't let a-wipe tow truck drivers influence you, they are the scum of the earth and will lie/cheat/steal to get your business, especially in the GTA

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