TL;DR Here is a list of 7 common habits of Montreal drivers that you can actually get fined hundreds of dollars for violating.
This is the result of a multitude of things, including crappy road conditions, constant construction, cold climate, poor urban planning, generally poor road etiquette, and often oblivious drivers.
Now, I don't blame them. The condition of our roads definitely warrants this blasé attitude, but many of the everyday habits taken on by Montreal drivers is actually illegal and can incur some pretty hefty fines.
That said, check out below some of the most common driving habits you can get some serious fines for in Montreal.
1. Driving without removing all snow from your car first
On the SAAQ site it hilariously says "driving around in a mobile igloo is dangerous and prohibited." We've all seen them at morning rush hour. Those people who woke up late after a big storm and couldn't be bothered to remove the snow from their cars. Even if just your windshield had snow on it, you can still be fined between $100 and $200.
2. Driving with your pet hanging out the window or on your lap
We sometimes have to get around in our car with Rover in the backseat. However, according to the SAAQ, you should always be sure that your pup is either tied or in a safe area and not hanging out the window – for the pet's safety, of course. That said, if the cops suspect that your pet is obstructing your driving for whatever reason, you can get fined up to $60.
3. Holding an electronic device while driving (even if the car is stopped)
Better to invest in a dash holster because holding your phone in your hand is illegal in Quebec. Carelessness with electronic devices while driving has proven to lead to fatal road accidents, so the SAAQ isn't joking around about these laws. Violation of this law can not only lead to a high fine for a first-time offence, but total suspension of your driver's license for repeat offences.
Many people might not know this but you can get fined for forgetting to lock the door while your car is parked. One Montrealer recently posted on Reddit that he was hit with a whopping $107 fine for this reason despite parking on a small and quiet street.
5. If you don't "move over" when there is an emergency vehicle or tow truck on the road
Sometimes there are accidents on the road or issues that require first-responder help. Whether it's firemen, police, ambulance, road workers, etc, if you see yellow arrow light signal, rotating or flashing lights, according to the "move-over" law you must slow down and create as much distance as possible between your car and the emergency vehicle. Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to $300.
Considering that the entire island was practically considered a "road work" zone this summer, I'm sure we ALL broke this law at one point. When you see an orange pentagon with the little contruction man in it, you have to slow down to 70 km/h. If you drive faster, you risk getting a hefty fine. For example, 90 km/h speeds in a road work zone warrant a $115 fine.
7. Failure to obey orders of a traffic "flag person"
Speaking of road work zones, sometimes you'll be driving through one and a person will be standing there with a flag trying, to direct traffic. Well, if you disrespect the flag person's direction you can get fined up to $400!